A “Take Charge of Your Career” Mindset
People who embrace the knowledge worker mindset and focus on developing portable capabilities are better prepared for career uncertainty and change.
Change. Few people are fond of it, but we know it’s inevitable. And, it occurs faster all the time. Think how quickly computer software becomes out of date, or how the latest high-end car accessories, like backup cameras, quickly become standard equipment on almost every new car. Or, how you just bought the latest model of smartphone last week, and this week the next iteration is being introduced. With the pace of change increasing in every aspect of our lives, what’s a person to do? Throw one’s hands up in frustration? Well, that’s not productive. Embrace it? Adapt to it? Sure, but that’s sometimes easier said than done.
Nevertheless, there are many tools that can help you to keep pace with rapid change. One is to look back periodically at the changes that have occurred in your life, and rate how positive or negative each was in the long term. Most people find the majority of changes in their lives ended up being positive over time. That realization makes it easier to look forward to changing with a positive attitude.
But let’s take a moment and focus specifically on careers. A growing trend is that more and more people are taking on contract or freelance positions. Currently, 34% of workers are freelance/independent and that percentage is estimated to grow to 50% of the workforce by 2020. What does that trend mean to us as individuals? It means we need to take charge of our careers, keep our skills up to date, and keep ourselves professionally competitive. We need to adopt an attitude of independence — becoming a “knowledge worker” vs. an “employee.” We need to realize that our capabilities are portable. With that new career management mindset, it doesn’t matter whether we are a full-time employee or an independent contractor. We free ourselves to take our skills and abilities elsewhere if we see they are no longer needed or no longer being effectively utilized. We create our own professional resilience that allows us to take control of our careers, to be more independent, and to embrace change.
Why not take it a step further and get ahead of the change by assessing what your core skills are right now? Identify your strengths, develop your personal brand, update your marketing materials, cultivate your online presence, and take charge of your career!