What everyone with a career should be doing.
The number one most common mistake when I talk to people about their careers is; they put themselves into a box of either ‘looking’ or ‘not looking’. Why is that a problem? Well we are living in a VUCA world where the new normal is that there is no normal. Being made redundant used to be rare, now it’s something you can almost engineer, and can be a great career and life strategy for being able to pivot into your own business or pay down a chunk of an onerous mortgage. You never really know what is around the corner and gaining back some of that feeling of control is critical to career vitality. The box you need to put yourself in is; ‘always ready’.
Here’s you…happily employed no need to think about a new job and certainly no need to be expanding your network or thinking! Happy days! You can sit back, enjoy the sparkling water on tap from the newly designed work kitchen and soak up the good life. Right? WRONG! This is exactly the right time to be thinking about what’s next and building in new rituals each week to safe guard your future.
A good friend of mine works out a lot, I’m talking like 2-3 hours a day and seemingly for nothing other than personal fitness levels. I once asked him why he trained so much and his answer always stuck with me…”I always want to be in my best possible shape, you never know when your next challenge is around the corner”.
It strikes me that our next challenge is always around the corner these days. The world is ever changing and therefore the direct pressure on boards and CEO’s is to constantly be tweaking, tinkering and evolving the roles and structure of an organisation to ensure its constantly match fit. You need to do the same with your own career.
Here are the 6 things you should always be doing irrespective of your current situation:
- Keep your CV and LinkedIn up to date
Pay a professional to write your CV and update it yourself once a month
Find a profile on LinkedIn that you aspire to and use their profile as a guide for best practice (talent borrows, genius steals)
- Read, listen and watch the latest trends
Top Tip: Podcast your way to becoming more informed
The McKinsey Podcast
Reid Hoffman’s Masters of scale
Managing The Future of Work – HBS
The HBR Channel
- Target one external event a month to attend
Keep it focused on the industry you align yourself most too don’t just attend events for the sake of it, time is too short and you will build the view that events are waste of time.
- Gain 3 new contacts in your network per month
Create a spreadsheet that you can add names to when you hear them. I will guarantee you will be told about x3 ppl worth connecting with during a dinner, a coffee with a friend or chat at your local dog park! Write it down and connect via LinkedIn or ask that person to hook you in.
- Go for coffee with these new contacts and provide value to them
Actioning the information is nine tenths of the law!
- Spend 1 hour a week planning your next move
Get a big white board from Officeworks (disclaimer Luke Marshall is no way financially incentivised by Officeworks) and draw a mind map of your skills, experience, the roles you have done and could do along with where you see the biggest long term career opportunity.
That’s it. Simple.
I hope that’s given you some inspiration to keep growing your mind, network and opportunities for success in your career. I’ve purposefully kept the list manageable to get you off to a sustainable start. If you keep to a weekly or monthly cadence it won’t be like you’re starting from scratch every-time that unexpected challenge appears from around the corner.
This article was written by Luke Marshall, Partner – Digital, Retail & E-Commerce. Luke is a trusted advisor to C level executives in the Australian market and works closely with their leadership teams to identity the current and next generation of Digital and leadership talent. To contact Luke for career advice or to discuss how to find extraordinary finance talent you can reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org