careers are d-e-a-d

“Careers are dead.”

“Long live:

the project

self-reinvention

the collaboratist

me Inc

brand You.”

It’s not about Them – IT’S ABOUT YOU.

No one is going to look after your career. In fact, there are no careers now beyond those you create for yourself.

Q. What do you do?

A.  Become a maniacal, radical reinventionist!

… not some label e.g. [insert].

Unless you are doing something new – staying hungry staying foolish (in Steve Jobs speak) – then your career, which accounts for a larger and larger part of your life, is going (quickly) into decline … free-fall … backwards.

Some of you will think I am taking the proverbial – IF ONLY.

The truth of the matter is that unless you are working every day to accumulate a bushel of new skills you can bet your bottom $ that someone else out there is working a l-o-t h-a-r-d-e-r than you to make sure they are the best in the World.

[Can you make that claim?]

Just think about it. If someone asked you now to express yourself in 8 words or less (R.POV8 – a little nod to you know who: Godin), then how do you expect people to remember you or your business? And I don’t mean for you to focus on What You Do (yawn). No, better still, How You Do It or x100 better, Mega Mega better – Why You Do It (see Start with Why by Simon Sinek).

The problem for most of us is that we measure our success by what has worked in the past.

… I did this … I got that.

…. I avoided doing that … I got this.

But the future belongs to those people who can get behind a vision of their life (scrap the notion of a career – our work and life are inseparable) that is beyond their current proven ability. It does not belong to those who simply show up, even though that is incredibly important.

We are all guilty of accepting the status quo, and only get pushed to change when circumstances – usually those adverse to us – make us change.

But time is not on your side. It doesn’t matter what angle you come at this. The market dictates much more than good enough. That said, and it may sound mildly contradictory, sometimes just doing what you say is enough; but if YOU want to stand out, win the best work, feel enlivened by the business of work and build something of real value then you have to over-deliver on every conceivable front.

You can’t though afford to rely on others to make you. You have to make yourself.

The challenge – and it is huge – is to order your life in such way that you don’t lose the zest for the climb (not a career ladder) but being the most that you can be.

it’s a challenge

it’s a challenge (I repeat myself).

Unless you’re prepared to do something that almost scares you out of you wits then nothing is going to change. You might think that you are doing brilliantly well but in reality you will be doing pretty much the same stuff, give or take a few unexciting projects, in the next 5 years.

WHERE TO START…?

  • Duh … the Internet. Codecademy is a great site that shows what can be done to learn a new skill (don’t worry if programming is not part of your core competency – but the principle is the same)
  • Start a Mastermind Group
  • Get together with your close colleagues and do a SWOT analysis of your careers. How can you help each other to get better in the shortest possible time
  • Read. Jim Rohn said that all readers are leaders. There are so many great books out there, you should never go hungry
  • Watch a few Ted videos. If nothing else they might give you a larger window on the world (also check out the Do Lectures)
  • Start a blog. Blogs are free. You can write about anything. If you get good, you might just change the World. Certainly you might succeed in learning something and raising your profile
  • Get comfortable with technology. The world is changing fast
  • Get used to living with less, and making the most of the limited resources
  • Start thinking like an entrepreneur – our cave dwelling ancestors started the riff
Some people – I hope not you – can’t be bothered with any of this: “Things are just fine.” That may well be so but it won’t last. In the  future those with the brightest prospects will be those who have the strongest predilection for self renewal. As Alvin Toffler said in Future Shock:
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Happy hunting.

Working with me

I am available for speaking, consulting and one on one coaching. Please feel free to email me at juliansummerhayes@gmail.com or contact me on 075888 15384.

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