Growth is cyclical; we have seen this in the economy with boom times and recessions. The mistake many people make is to become over confident in the boom times and believe they are invincible. What they need to do is disrupt themselves and reinvest in their skills to stay in growth.
Here’s a case in point: I met Ger, a busy executive in the insurance industry, and we discussed the projects his company was working on. He cited robotisation and automation as big projects in his sector. He was busy working on these projects and loving what he was doing.
I then asked him about the project timelines and what was next for him beyond these projects. He said he simply hadn’t had the time to consider the future as he had immersed himself in the work. I sounded a signal, warning him not to take his eyes off his career future while he worked on his current projects.
I had been giving a Future of Work talk for Ger’s employer, and afterwards we had a brief coaching session. He said the talk had given him food for thought and that he had been blindly busy, not paying enough attention to his long-term career. He admitted that as he had risen through the organisation by people recommending him for new roles, he had never stood back and thought about what he wanted to do.
I shared the innovative S curve model with him. He needed to take control of his next move rather than depend on others.
Disrupting ourselves while we are in growth can be hard to do, because we are likely to be happy as we are. We have not been educated to go and find roles for ourselves; we tend to depend on managers and recruiters to find our next moves.
Research by Deloitte shows that the younger, mobile talent start thinking about their next move within eighteen months of taking on a job. This is alien to the older generation who grew up on a diet of structure and stability. But it is within your control at any age to decide how you want to grow your career.
Don’t get hooked into believing the bright lights of promotion are the only indicators of career progression. As organisations have become flatter, there are simply fewer steps to climb on the career ladder. I would prefer it if people would talk about a skills ladder, considering what new skills they want to learn in their next career move. I know money is important, but having the most valuable skills will mean you can earn the most money on lucrative projects which don’t always mean a step up the ladder.
The above is an extract from the book ‘Future Proof Your Career’. Written by John Fitzgerald, Future Proof Your Career is a practical book which deals with one of the great problems of modern life: how to make it through a 50-year career when all the rules for career success have changed. Get it now on Amazon
Another resource that will help you is the Future Career Readiness Index. It’s a powerful free online tool that evaluates the five key characteristics of a future-ready mindset. The assessment takes less than 10 minutes to complete and allows you to benchmark your readiness for the future of work against that of others globally. You will receive your own personalised rating and a free comprehensive report that offers rich insights into the key areas to accelerate your future career.
To gain access and learn more, visit www.futurecareerreadiness.com
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