One constant in today’s work world is change. Look at the jobs available now and in the future and the older you are then the more likely they have little relation to what you thought you might be doing when coming out of school. Making yourself a viable candidate in this changing landscape falls to you. You have to take charge of your own career, and own the definition of who you are because no-one else is going to do it for you.
Here are 8 steps to help you survive in the ever changing world of work:
- YOU are in charge. Think of yourself as working for yourself, what Tom Peters called You Inc. You are the person in control of your own career and have to manage it. No one else can do it for you. What drives you and what impact do you want to have? Take the time to clearly define what that looks like and develop a plan to make it happen.
- YOU need to know you best. It is critical in any market to know YOU. Know what you have to offer and then market yourself as the person with that information. This will help to separate you from your competition. Your marketability will depend on your ability to demonstrate, on paper and verbally, your skills (even if within the same organization). What do you bring to the table in the way of strengths and abilities?
- YOU must keep on learning. Most of the most in demand job roles now did not even exist 10-15 years ago. You have look beyond your current skill set at developing additional benefits of “marketing you”. By asking yourself the following questions (and discussing with your peers, friends, family and/or “board of advisors”), you should be able to come up with specific ways you might want to work on improving your product…you, in the next 6-12 months.
- YOU become the expert. Read industry papers, keep track of the fast changing economic and social landscape and understand your competition. Be the go to person for the latest information – become the expert. Take time to share your thought leadership with your connections and network so they start to associate you with that area of knowledge and expertise.
- YOU are not your job title. Focus on developing core competencies that your current or future organization is likely to require in the future. Define yourself by what you do and how to get it done NOT by your job title.
- YOU need feedback. Find someone that will provide honest and effective feedback to you. Someone that takes an interest in your development and will support you in your career progression. This could be a mentor or peer support group and look to take the time to offer this in return to someone else.
- YOU are as good as your network. Even if you are not looking for a new job or career right now, develop and maintain your network. NOW is the time to do it, not when you decide to look or worse have to look.
- YOU are job seeking all the time. Don’t wait until you get a call asking for your resume, because usually they want it right away. That is the worst time to develop it. You will be anxious, stressed and might not be able to remember some of your significant accomplishments. Add your new expertise, skills and memberships as you have accomplished them and interview on a regular basis – even if you are not looking.
The old ways of thinking about how and why you work no longer apply. In order to survive in the world of work, you must know what you have to offer, realize your potential and take charge of your career.
How are you managing your personal brand?
This article has been edited and updated from a joint article written by Marshall Brown & Paul Copcutt for the ASAE organization.