In my previous two blog posts about The Top 10 Factors Impacting Your Career Search (read one here and two here), I reviewed the political, economic, sociocultural and technology (P.E.S.T.) trends that will materially affect your ability to find a job that allows you to be your true self. The ten factors have significantly altered the relationship between business and labor and you must consider non-full-time jobs (i.e. volunteer, part-time, per diem, project-based) as increasingly viable options to help you meet your career goals.
The 21st century requires a completely new approach to career transition. Simply developing a slightly improved version of your resume and then submitting it to the same employers through the same job boards will only provide for incremental improvement or meaning. I see too many people follow this already well-worn path. By asking yourself, “What can I do to make radical change in how I approach finding employment that aligns with my core behaviors, motivators and competencies?” you are beginning to challenge the status quo and fear mediocrity.
Making quantum leaps requires a very thorough understanding of who you are today. Once that foundation is set, you must then create a rich and diverse portfolio of ideas for what careers may be viable alternatives and what you can do to secure your next career. Get as many people as possible involved in this process to help you think outside the proverbial box. Now, take all of the opportunities developed and group them into clusters that align with your strengths, motivators and vision for your future. Using your unique value proposition, you can explore the opportunities in these clusters knowing that knowledge learned and new relationships built will compound on each other overtime. The more you learn about an industry or the more people who are already in that vertical (who then know you) will help to build your credibility.
By grouping opportunities into clusters, the outline of a plan (plan the work, work the plan) is created showing you not only where you are going, but how you can get there. Perhaps you could call it a blueprint, a blueprint for personal transformation that will help you distinguish yourself now and for years into your evolving career.
Remember, your biggest threat today isn’t external, its internal. Your competitive advantage is directly tied to living up to your potential and how much value you generate for others.
Make quantum leaps.