Check your Career Strategy fundamentals for uncertain times

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.  ~ Confucius

Whether you’re an IT specialist, CIO, CEO or running your own business, if you are satisfied with your career thus far, it may be worth considering what contributed to you getting this far. Was it largely due to the deliberate investment in energy, time, education and resources on your part, or just plain being at the right place at the right time? – or both?  So what’s next?  Making sense of what’s around the corner is not always a trivial exercise, especially in the prevailing volatility in economies, organisations and society.

The fact that change is inevitable is well understood, however when disruptive change occurs, how will that influence you?

  • The career success trap: Perhaps up until now you have made the right career decisions. You are where you want to be, for now, that is. Recognise, however, that change could occur quite rapidly. When it hits, what options do you have?  If you a specialist in a particular technology, or industry where the opportunities have shrunk due to a change in technology or globalisation what supplementary or complementary transferable skills have you developed?
  • What’s worked for you to date, may not work in the future: Applying the same career recipe to your future should not be your default position.  What do you need to do differently now that will maximise your future opportunities? Try listing these for a range of feasible scenarios – it’s easier said than done, so give it a try!
  • Accidental or deliberate strategy? Making good long-term decisions usually involves developing a strategy of sorts. This way, you’ll be able to have in your mind at all times where you would like be long term. This will allow you to make deliberate career choices rather than Hobson’s choice. The analogy is that you know where the oasis in the desert is, and as long as the general direction is towards the oasis, you would be better off than an opportunistic, random walk.
  • Fit for purpose: Assessing what is a good fit for you is an important consideration for your career. No two people are the same, so there is no definitive checklist of what makes a good career choice. However, work that draws on  your imagination, creativity, knowledge, skills, humour and passion will often result in a good personal career choice.

Make the time to think about what you actually enjoy about your career – and recognise that this may well not be future-proof.   Invest in working with a business mentor with a proven track record in IT mentoring to validate your assumptions, stress test and refine your personal business plan. It can just be that transformational, positive game changer you’ve seen happen to others.