The London School of Business and Finance interviewed me and other specialists recently on how to secure your dream career. You can read their excellent post here. You may also be interested in the more in-depth interview I gave:
No job or career is safe today
Many of us as children dream about who we would like to be when we grow up, like a famous footballer or movie star. Reality kicks in during our teenage years when we see adults get made redundant, get stuck in jobs they don’t like and settle for less than they hoped simply to pay the bills. You got pressure from other people to answer a different question, ‘what do you want to do?’ You then got told that a degree was a passport to a great job and career. Now you need so much more because things changed as a result of the recession, an increase in the number of graduates with similar grades and a lack of the right kind of skills demanded by employers.
No job or career is safe today. Technology, artificial intelligence and the speed of change mean disruption to established careers in many fields. Being a lawyer or a even a black cab driver (think Uber) used to be ’safe choices’, but de-regulation and increased competitiveness for jobs and services have made things much more precarious. It is safer to build your employability than rely on a specific career being safe.
Every dream career is in the eye of the beholder and your dreams may change shape and direction many times throughout your working life. Although you may have to be patient and pragmatic along the way, don’t stop dreaming and don’t always play safe. Tap into your inner child and ask yourself again, ‘ who do I want to be?’
How to improve your chances
- Ask yourself or talk it through with a trusted friend, mentor or coach: Who am I? What would get me out of the bed in the morning every day? Where do I want to spend my precious energy, talent and time so I am can be at my best? What does me at my best look and feel like?
- Go and explore your dream career and test it out. I always wanted to be in the movie business as a teenager. My first job after graduating was as an assistant cameraman with a media company. It was a disaster, my dream career wasn’t how I imagined it and I changed direction. Try before you buy.
- Do your research, speak to people in your chosen career and related areas, volunteer, get an internship, build your online professional presence to make yourself more visible and attract employers like a magnet.
- Combine disciplines and interests to give yourself more options. For example, say you qualified in accountancy, have an entrepreneurial spirit and love sports. Working in a sports marketing company might appeal to you. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes and ask yourself ‘what can I give?’ rather than ‘what’s in it for me?’
- Invest in your development and commit to lifelong learning. What added skill or experience would improve your chances of achieving your dreams? In the accountant example, it might mean understanding and using Big Data. Remember, it often takes the stepping stones of a range of jobs and roles to fulfil your career dreams.
Very few people will have or want a single career in the 21st century, as recent research by the LSBF suggests. Current jobs will disappear and new ones that have yet to be invented will appear in shorter timeframes than in the 20th century.
Become a robust boat that can cope beyond the next wave and sail whatever the sea conditions. Instead of the idea of a single ‘dream career’, build your self-awareness and develop your unique capabilities, consider how you want to contribute to the world to make a difference, and point your strengths and talents at what you find motivating (not what other people say) as you go along in your working life.
Learn to leap more regularly – develop new skills, new knowledge, adapting your mindsets and behaviours for changing personal and professional circumstances and to forge your work identity. Ensure you are up-to-date and what you have to offer is relevant and needed. Identify your transferable skills and experiences. By learning to leap you will have a greater chance of multiple and diverse dream careers that align with your talents, who you are, who you want to be and who you become.
Want to learn to leap into your job or career? Get in touch here today because I can help!