How to Own Your Career
I was recently invited to speak at a conference for a number of Fortune 100 companies. While there, I learned what they are telling their employees in order to make a direct impact on their customers.
The common thread throughout their communications is summed up in following statement: The adult day care center is officially closed; it’s time for you to own your career.
Business change is moving at the speed of light, and to keep the pace, your organization needs you to be your own career architect.
But what is driving this line of thinking? Technology clearly is playing the biggest role. McKinsey & Company forecasts that, by 2025, automation technology innovations will assume tasks now performed by 250 million knowledgeable workers worldwide, freeing the remaining workforce to devote time and energy to more creative pursuits.
Think about it in the context of a typical day. You need a prescription and call your local pharmacy. You get a series of prompts to follow and never actually talk to a live person. The technology is so advanced that you receive a text message when your prescription is ready. The only time you interact with a human being is when you walk into a store and an employee says, “Welcome to Walgreens.”
Advancements like this are the reason why every willing and able-bodied person must own their career.
Here are three strategies you can implement on the road to owning your career:
1. Embrace Microlearning
Lynda.com is the new face of learning for busy professionals. That’s why LinkedIn paid $1.5 billion to acquire it. The Lynda.com platform is like Netflix for business where you can access and learn just about any skill in 3- to 5-minute blocks. For a small investment, you can upgrade your thinking and stay on the cutting edge. When you complete a course on Lynda.com, you receive a skill badge that you can post on your LinkedIn profile. This is gamification at its best.
2. Create a Strategic Life Plan
Either you fulfill the vision of the system, or you hack the system to fulfill your own vision. In 10 years, you will be older. The question is, will you be better? Consider putting together a strategic life plan that is broken into one-year, three-year, and six-year goals. It should cover the seven core areas of your life—spiritual, financial, emotional, mental, social, career/business, and wellness. Decide how you intend to execute this plan.
3. Reinvent Your Job
In my global travels, I have noticed many professionals in middle management that are redefining their job description by giving up what they have done for years. They are rewriting their positions based on what they are most passionate about and what aligns with the future direction of the company. Because these professionals are employees in good standing with brilliant reputations, they are being given the chance to do something new. It’s similar to a startup company. There is tremendous risk, no guarantees, and huge upside potential. Are you game?
Owning your career is a new mindset that must be adapted by professionals who intend to be relevant today and in 2025.