2 Simple Questions To Help You Thrive in the New World of Work
The world of work is rapidly evolving. A lot has changed in the last two years. Many people are adapting to the new normal. The next five years will consolidate work rules for decades. Others are still figuring out how they fit in or stand out.
The uncomfortable truth is, we can’t predict the trajectory of the world of work. But you don’t have to worry about that if you can adequately prepare your mind for the new decade of work.
Change is not in our control, and it’s nothing new– you already know that. The vital question is: what can you do today to thrive tomorrow even in the worst work uncertainty possible?
“The careers of tomorrow may look vastly different than they do today, but those who can stay flexible and informed and have initiative have a better chance of coming out on top,” writes John Schwarz, the founder and CEO of Visier.
Staying relevant is your responsibility. That’s why you need a career growth plan — a simple template that defines where you are headed, what you need to get there and complementary skills that will help you thrive in the future.
A career growth blueprint should clearly state specific steps you can take weekly, monthly or quarterly to upgrade your career. These questions can help you rethink, upgrade or reinvent your career for the new world of work.
1. Am I still on the best career path?
When I finished my software entrepreneurship program ten years ago, I had a job offer from a prestigious software company.
I thought deeply about my long-term career plans and how that position (creative marketing manager) can help me achieve my career goals. In the end, I turned it down and decided pursue my side projects.
It was a risky decision, but I was convinced that building capital, instead of renting my time, would be a better career option for me in the future.
At any stage of your career, don’t be afraid to ask: should I be doing this and why? Many people are chasing outdated career paths but they rarely stop to think about the trajectory of their careers.
Some careers have no future. You may be making money, but at some point, you are likely to be replaced by a cheaper alternative.
If you deeply care about what you do, find and learn timeless skills that can make you indispensable. If you can become more skilled, find ways to upgrade yourself even when your career is still stable.
What do you really want in a career? Do you want a progressive career or you want to make enough money from your present career? You can have both.
You can build a great career if you consistently adapt, change with time and reinvent yourself over the long term. And you can make money if you master it — learn the fundamentals needed to earn it or put it to work.
If you create a career growth plan, a lot of your concerns will be addressed to prevent unnecessary worrying and stress about your future.
Meaningful and thought-provoking career questions can help you identify the opportunities you should be pursuing.
It can also help you refocus on what’s important to you in life (financial security, health, work fulfilment, growth, upward trajectory, etc.). Quarterly check-ins can help you thrive despite the many uncertainties ahead.
For the past 5 years, an annual career/ project review has become a habit – I review my progress and adjust or change path where necessary.
2. What are the permanent skills I need to learn to become indispensable in the next 5 or 10 years?
“The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways,” says Robert Greene.
In a rapidly changing world, those who play the long game will always be a step ahead of everyone else. The success of your career depends on what you choose to do with your time today.
Your career success, irrespective of your hard skills, depends on your timeless and permanent skills that stand the test of time.
People lose jobs because employers cut costs and or find a faster way to save money or make money. Others will lose their positions in the future because employers will find remote, cheaper and more skilled options.
Today, right now, is the best time to start investing in permanent skills to secure your future.
The ability to take initiative, adapt in uncertain times, read emotional language, think creatively about problems, work smoothly with remote workers and make better human connections will put you ahead of others.
The good news is, you can hone many permanent skills in the comfort of your home. You can learn from experts online without enrolling in formal classes. You can use courses, books, online schools and podcasts to learn new skills at your own pace.
Timeless career skills have been around for centuries — learn them, and they will help you do your work more effectively.
As a writer, Ive learned how to use WordPress, promote my content, build an audience, use photo editing tools, build a personal brand, build and sell courses and manage newsletters.
I’m still learning how to build multiple incomes streams and most importantly how to be an artist and an entrepreneur at the same time. I’m constantly adapting to improve myself and my writing career. I’ve learned to become a polymath to thrive in our ever changing world of work.
Successful people don’t just rely on their hard skills — they invest in complementary skills to become indispensable. As Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook says, “Build your skills not your resume.”
The courage to ask the right questions can change the trajectory of your career. Your best career depends on the difficult questions you are not asking.
The pressure to update our skills is now more pressing than ever. Learning or honing relevant skills can help you thrive in the new world of work.