By Khadija Azhar
The opportunity cost of investing time in careers that aren’t fulfilling is marginally higher now, compared to when the global economy wasn’t characterized by constant disruption. In a world where technical skills can become obsolete overnight, Diana Wu David’s Future Proof serves as an invaluable companion to help you achieve an ideal work-life balance that is not only fulfilling but sustainable.
Unlike your run-of-the-mill self-help book that relies on standardized formulas for success, Future Proof emphasizes the importance of self-determination and experimentation in both professional and personal spheres. David draws upon her own experiences to offer a poignant but refreshingly candid account of how she took control of her life following her best friend’s suicide.
The book begins with the Oxford Dictionary definition of ‘future-proof’ to ground the premise and is then sectioned into three parts. Learn focuses on providing an account of the future of work, which is characterized by automation and disruption. Cultivate introduces the idea of experiential learning to nurture the right attitude and skills required to stay relevant in the new world. Finally, Maximize discusses how the aforementioned skills can be used to positively impact the trajectory of your life.
Sprinkled throughout the book are anecdotes from professionals who decided to take charge of their careers and realign them with their personal goals. They add a layer of relatability and substance to advice that otherwise might have seemed stale. Most importantly, these anecdotes come together to drive David’s point across: the common denominator in success stories is adaptability and focus–the ability to override existing belief systems and create the opportunities required to reset your course. In the end, she summarizes her argument by highlighting the importance of tailoring daily activities to helping you achieve long-term life goals.
Future Proof turns the idea of obsolescence on its head and shows how career paths can be reinvented with the help of consistent, personal strategies. You don’t have to be stuck on an “inescapable treadmill” of sacrifice; a little innovation and experimentation can go a long way in helping you enrich your life. –KA