An Oxford student in a Blackwells bookstore
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We ask business school alumni for their views on what is a key skill or characteristic to future-proof their career. Here is a selection of the best answers:

No career is future-proof. The only way to stay relevant is to keep learning and keep adapting so you’re always providing added value above the constantly rising norm. The day you stop is the day you accept guaranteed obsolescence.
Chief executive

Curiosity — the burning desire to understand why things are the way they are and the drive to use the knowledge to find a better way.
Managing director

Managing up and down effectively. As you progress in your career, the ability to lead becomes less about marshalling forces yourself and enabling others to succeed.

Networking. Knowing people in the industry who can help you in times of change is critical. When I made a recent career change, the network was what mattered. A strong support system will ensure you will always have future opportunities.
Executive vice-president

Salesmanship is an essential trait [in any career]. If you’re able to sell, you’re more likely able to sell yourself as the right hire, sell your business idea to investors, sell your company’s products or services. If all else fails, being a top sales person will almost always pay.
Business owner

A basic understanding of coding and application development. Understanding how to capture [computers’] power is increasingly important to identifying opportunities.
Director, professional services company

Stamina — or you aren’t going anywhere.
Financial and management consultant

The most important skill is to be able to balance your health, family and work — with your health being the number one priority. You will have no career if you do not have your health.
Senior development manager

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