My Advice to Those Who Want to Make A Transformational Career Change
The Future of Work is here, and the conversation around it is only getting louder.
The employment scene is changing at a speed seen never before. Millennials, globalization, mobility, digital tech, and consequent new attitudes are changing the way we work.
We are witnessing the compelling rise of automation and with it a new set of fears – that of fewer jobs. However, if we look too closely at this, we could be creating blind spots. While tech advancement threatens to eliminate a few jobs it also tends to create others.
This blog is for those who want to stay in step with this climate of constant change and want to make a transformational career shift.
Have you heard the story of the frog in the well? The one where the frog who lived in the well thought that the world was as big and as exciting as his humble abode. It wasn’t until the frog from outside the well came that he realized what a wonderful big world he was missing out.
Most of us have the ‘frog in the well’ syndrome especially after we become comfortable in our job roles. In this weather of uncertainty, predictability can definitely be attractive. But comfort in today’s job market can often spell the death of a career. Think back to the 1920s. Cars replaced horse coaches and the coachmen lost their jobs. However, this created new and better jobs like car repairs, automobile manufacturing, road building, etc. And while the digital economy helps us be productive with less labor, it is only those who plan ahead who will be successful.
And along with this, there are the few who want to make a dent and can’t be doing the same job day in and day out. But the market might not present the right or enough opportunities.
So, what do to bring about a transformational career change in a difficult market? Here’s a look
Quality over quantity
The lure of the big organization is always there and is usually a barometer for success. But sometimes an opportunity comes with a smaller company. So instead of running after a large organization where you’ll be nothing more than a small part of a big school of fish, look for innovative startups where you can make an impact.
Look at fast-growing, forward-thinking companies. It is in such places where you have the opportunity to make an impact and the opportunity to learn and grow. Growing organizations mean new challenges. And new challenges mean new experiences.
Be a constant work in progress
So, you know Java at the back of your hand. Or you’re a pro at Python. Or you’re an ace business analyst. But why let the buck stop there?
A transformational career change will happen if you put in the transformational effort. Be it new tools, new technologies or new industries…in this age of learning, acquiring new skills, and seeing how these skills contribute to your larger goals and evaluating how you can apply your skill sets (acquired and previously existing) to different industries will open up new possibilities.
Identify your ‘value’
The shine of tools, technologies and the like can be quite blinding. But are great companies and successful people only built on these pillars? It might be easy to lose track, but you need to take stock of what value you bring to the company.
For that, you need to look at your inherent positive valence, which can be loosely translated to your own unique strengths that help add value to your job role.
Value goes beyond skills and competency. Its measure is a great deal more. Go ahead. Think. And work on your ‘value’.
Be ready to fail
Sounds cliched? As cliched as it might be, nothing could be truer. The fear of failure is always big. But to fail in something when you’re well into the mid-life of your career can be intimidating beyond words. But success always lies ahead of the fear.
I’ve always felt that people make failure a bigger deal than it really is. So, you made a mistake. You learn and improve. You did something wrong – you learn from that too and improve. You don’t feel competent enough – you learn what you don’t know, and you improve.
See the trend? You only truly fail when you let a minor speedbump throw you completely off course.
Become purpose driven
Do you know why most successful brands are successful? Because they have a strong sense of ‘purpose’. It is this purpose that drives the brand’s initiatives and courses its success path. Purpose helps a brand identify ‘why’ they are doing what they are doing. It is almost the foundation for a brand’s reason to exist.
Our careers also have to follow a similar trajectory. Why are you looking for a transformational career change? Is only financial success the driving force here? If you answer yes to the latter question then, I’m afraid that while you might get a change in your career, this change will be anything but transformational.
I think we need to associate ourselves with an organization beyond the paycheck. Believe in something bigger than that. Evaluate the opportunities, see how you’re going to contribute to the big picture. These things help in making that transformational career change. The money consequently follows.
And lastly, be creative in your thinking. According to a Brookfield report, creativity is going to be one of the most sought after skills across industries. Get those creative cells working and find yourself new opportunities, the right and enabling work environment and make the difference you want to. A transformational career change will happen as a consequence of your directed efforts.