Many of the jobs that people do today did not exist in the same form five years ago, and the fast pace of change in the modern workplace means that the current trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future.

Marketers who previously learnt to ply their trade through TV, radio and print advertising now need to know how to extend their reach via email marketing, SEO, social media and web PR. With even the fundamentals subject to such radical alteration, you are right to wonder how to go about planning a career path. The following five tips aim to get you on track and leading the pack.

1. Read

One of the most effective ways to plan ahead is to know what’s coming around the next corner. Gain as much insight as you can by reading what the experts in your field are predicting about future trends and use this knowledge to your advantage. By positioning yourself favourably, you will remain well ahead of the competition and you will earn respect for your market savvy.

2. Network

More than ever, the value of personal connections is of critical importance. This is true not only for establishing yourself in your current position but also for securing future scope for advancement. With so much change occurring, it is difficult to predict where the next opportunity will emerge. One thing is certain, however: the more industry connections you make, the more likely it is that you will be kept informed. By drawing on your contacts, you will be able to adapt with the times and to make the transition smoothly.

3. Always say yes

Change is often perceived as a threat rather than an opportunity. It is clear that this mode of thinking needs to be overturned. The real threat in today’s workplace is the belief that there is only one formula for success. Learn to adapt and evolve, and never miss an opportunity to try something new. Your willingness to embrace change will show others that you are dynamic and adaptable. New opportunities mean that you are just as well placed as anyone else so don’t be deterred by the fact that you have never attempted something before. Chances are that the risk you take might yield exceptional rewards.

4. Continuously expand your skill set

Expertise is key. Unless you develop the skills that are required by a changing industry, you will find it very difficult to benefit from the opportunities that arise. Rather than getting left behind and then having to catch up to your peers, ensure that you remain at the forefront of change and be ready to leap at any chance that comes your way. Early adopters have been shown to have more successful careers. By the time others catch on, you will have established yourself as the expert.

5. Question everything

Even successful companies need to plan for change, and part of their ongoing prosperity is the ability to rethink their business model. As circumstances change, the company’s strategy needs to adapt and adjust to the changes in order to remain both relevant and effective. That doesn’t mean that you tear apart a perfectly good approach. Rather, your ability to identify areas of weakness and to suggest constructive changes that are in line with developments over the course of time will prove that you are a forward thinker with the ability to see the bigger picture