What is Your Career Mindset?

Careers used to be simple. You would do an apprenticeship or university course, get qualified, start a low level job in your chosen industry, and over the years be promoted. Or you would leave school and go to night school to finish your education and in the meantime work in lower level jobs until your qualification gained you a better position, or your employer saw potential in you. Another way was to move from job to job, climbing the career ladder, moving to ever better paid and more prestigious jobs.

This used to be the norm and many people still have this mindset when they think of a career - however this is far from the norm in today’s world.

What has changed?

The world is changing fast: global trade, tourism and connectivity (e.g. via the internet), mean that ideas, innovations, technology and people are moving from city to city and country to country faster than ever.
Economic, social and environmental conditions are also changing. Jobs are being replaced by machines, and being exported from one country to another. New innovations and technologies are creating jobs that previously didn’t exist.
Such changes mean that there is no consistency in employment. You simply can’t expect a career path you start on today, to be predictable into the future.

What’s a Good Mindset for Today?

  1. Above all, get used to change: embrace change for the opportunities it brings, rather than fearing it for the uncertainty it causes.
  2. See the abundance of work possibilities: don’t focus on the jobs that are disappearing, rather focus on the new work opportunities that are emerging.
  3. Nurture your creativity: change is occurring because some people are innovative, seeing creative ways to apply technology, or capitalize on changing social, economic or environmental conditions. Make it part of your nature to look for opportunities or if you have a head for innovation use it to create these opportunities yourself.
  4. Dampen your emotional attachment to work: passion for what you do can be a good thing, but an inability to move on and leave the past behind can be debilitating in today’s work environment.
  5. Be proactive: in a world of change, timing is more important than ever before. Staying in the same place for too long can be a mistake but moving on too soon can also be a mistake. Moving into a newly founded job or business, before anyone else, may be too soon and result in failure; but waiting until lots of others have made a new idea successful is often too late, because there is too much competition. Some authorities would advise you to always try to be the second or third person into something new.
  6. Keep your goals fluid: be prepared to move onto the next thing whenever good opportunities to do so emerge.
  7. Keep your body and mind healthy: change can cause stress - particularly if it is not an improvement. Careers today will typically have ups and downs. People who are physically and mentally strong are more likely to better navigate their careers. Eat well, exercise, learn to manage stress, don’t over-work, understand your body and be decisive and informed about your well being.