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Designing your own career and future

The digital and information era has profoundly altered our lives, opening us up to new ways to enhance our careers and job opportunities at a faster rate.

Maybe your career is not as clear as you once thought!

Globalisation and artificial intelligence (AI) have tapped us into new markets and skills that were once highly sought after, expensive or unavailable at a fraction of the cost. This not only affects low-paid manual workers but those working in white-collar positions also. With researchers from MIT reporting that the top 5 professional careers at risk by 2033, this will impact those currently in the workforce and the next generation who are yet to enter the jobs market.

“50% of today’s jobs are looking to be replaced in 10 to 15 years” – The Committee for Economic Development of Australia report

The question you need to ask yourself is: “Why would a business hire an intern or create a junior position when they can go online and hire a freelancer for a third of the cost on sites such as Fiverr, or implement a virtual assistant such as Jacada?”

These challenges are happening at an accelerated pace and the ability to adapt to these changes is key to designing your future career.

Question traditional norms

The question you need to ask yourself is, “How can I thrive in an age of disruption?”

Don’t start by picking any role: look around and find something you love, something you exceed at or something you are currently being paid to do. This involves reflecting on your own skill set and knowing what you have to offer, whilst acknowledging what you must do to strengthen your skills gap.

In an era where fulfilment, self-actualization and meaningful work has become one of the most important aspects in people’s lives, the trick is to find work we’re passionate about. This may go some way to explain why freelancing and contract work are becoming popular forms of employment as the ability to shape your work around your needs is favourable in comparison to the traditional 9-5.

Change is constant

The key is the ability to create a career that reflects what you want at certain points of your life. In today’s world, the term portfolio career has become synonymous with designing a career that caters to your needs. This may involve having a second job, establishing a business on the side or investing your time in a social or meaningful side project with like-minded people. These activities may help individuals to stay ahead of shifts in the workplace as they develop new skills and networks.

The path to building your career portfolio may take time and resources to fully blossom into something that can make a real difference.

Here are some steps to support you on your journey:

What is unique about you and how can that be leveraged in a way to build your career? Self-reflection is important to help jump start your journey. Look for something that energises you.

Where are the best places to start achieving this type of work? This goes beyond a job title, but the ability to mix different skills/interests together to create new opportunities to explore. This moves into talking to people that are currently doing the things that you are interested in and learning from them.

Where can I find the right market, platform or job to build on these skills? This can be in the form of going to an organisation and pitching a new position or creating a new job role entirely.

My final thoughts stress the importance of continuous learning and building up new skills. Whether this involves completing a short course, attending a meetup to learn something new or going out to meet with different people.

Are you ready to start putting in the work to create your own career?


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You can also connect with the author, Daniel Tuitt via Twitter or Linkedin.

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