In the old days, people had the ability to see their career paths clearly. They knew where to start, what boxes to check off, and how to move toward their desired goals. On one hand, it was easy because the road was obvious; on the other hand, it was hard because everyone was on the same road, jockeying for the same positions.
All this is changing as new ideas, businesses, and technologies have completely disrupted old industries and ways of doing things—as an example, look at the printing industry—most companies are paperless, and let’s not even talk about the newspaper industry! Increasingly, progress is gaining momentum, quickly rendering not-so-old ways of doing things obsolete, and forcing us to keep up with the progression. On average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months, and with all that knowledge, society is constantly creating new challenges and new career opportunities and paths. Exciting? Scary? Yes!
Today, however, we have the opportunity to think about exploring beyond the career path we may have visualized just a few years ago. How is your industry evolving and changing? Now step outside that realm, and take time to explore new and emerging industries. Consider how your experience can help those industries be more successful. There exist more opportunities for creative thinkers than ever before. Don’t get stuck in a rut—catch and ride the next big wave!
- Explore Areas of Interest. Start by considering what interests you. Read, study, and connect with people doing new kinds of work or starting new businesses in the areas that intrigue you, so you can discover different job and career possibilities.
- Connect. Use LinkedIn or the myriad of online sources to read up on people doing interesting jobs in the markets, industries, or companies that interest you. Reach out and connect; learn how others’ career paths and experiences led them to where they are now.
- Visualize New Career Paths. Identify multiple directions that you might take. Explore what additional skills, experiences, or connections you might need and start building them now.