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Strategically Transforming Your Career

With one month nearly complete in the new year, a recurring theme of client and colleague conversations is career evolution. Whether transitioning into new roles on a defined career path or executing significant career transformations across disciplines and/or industries, strategic questions need to be considered. What is my vision for my career arc? Do my career choices align with my values, and are those values aligned to the purpose and mission of potential employers? Are these organizations worthy of my greatest gifts? If yes, how can I strategically craft my role so I can leverage my strengths, interests, and professional development aspirations? What is preventing me from taking the necessary steps to make a change? This week’s newsletter addresses these and other strategic and tactical questions. The authors provide a range of perspectives and points of view coupled with an array of pragmatic tips to consider.

Before diving in, I thought it might help to start with PwC’s recent survey re: what the future of work may hold for 2021 (and beyond). There are lots of nuggets in this study on the current state of work and what these trends may mean for how and where we work. This information may be helpful context as we consider how best to structure our careers and navigate to our desired destinations.

Articles

It’s time to reimagine where and how work will get done: PwC’s US Remote Work Survey. “Nine months into a monumental shift to work-from-home, business leaders are more convinced about the productivity gains achieved, but some are no closer to giving up the office.”

Women’s Career Trajectories Can Be a Model for an Aging Workforce. “Especially as life spans and careers get longer, we hear more about careers with two phases: A steady, effortful climb upward towards commercial success, and then a second phase dedicated to service to others. But for many women, the reality is exactly the reverse. It’s the first half of their lives that is spent balancing professional growth with serving and caring for a variety of others — often children and family — and the second half that affords them the possibility of prioritizing their own voices and ambitions…And as men’s career paths begin to look more like women’s, businesses and policy makers will need to take this alternative pattern into account for all their employees by extending flexible and part-time policies to the growing number of over-50 employees who may want the same.”

What recruiters will look for in 2021: It might not seem like much changes in a year, but when the year is 2020, all bets are off. “Both technology improvements and changes borne from the COVID-19 pandemic have changed how the folks responsible for finding and screening talented candidates do their jobs. Ultimately, recruiting is becoming less transactional and more focused on relationship-building.”

5 Strategies for Reinventing Your Career in Uncertain Times. “But despite the challenges that extended periods of uncertainty present, those periods also offer unparalleled opportunities for strategic planning. Total control and predictability are always an illusion — and when circumstance strips that illusion away, it can open our minds to the wide variety of paths we could take…We’ve developed five strategies that can help anyone leverage the power of uncertainty to reinvent their career strategy.”

Mental Models for Career Changes.Career changes are some of the biggest moves we will ever make, but they don’t have to be daunting. Using mental models to make decisions we determine where we want to go and how to get there. The result is a change that aligns with the person we are, as well as the person we want to be.”

Time for plan B? Here’s how to reinvent your career. “During a crisis such as COVID-19, many people reevaluate their careers, whether by necessity or choice.”

Negotiating Your Next Job: Focus on your role, responsibilities, and career trajectory, not your salary. “When you’re seeking to advance your career—by joining a different company or moving into a new role with your current employer—it’s important to think strategically about not just what you want but how to get it.”

Don’t Quit Your Job Before Asking Yourself These Questions. “If you’re thinking about quitting your job, first do a quick analysis. Is the organization you work for the source of your concern? Then, you might look for a similar job with another employer. Is the job the problem? Then, you should consider making a move within your company before you decide to leave. And, finally, are you prepared to make your next move? Build your personal career assets to position your career for the future.”

Podcast

Freakonomics Radio: No Stupid Questions. “Why Do We Seek Comfort in the Familiar?”

Blog Posts

Marshall Goldsmith: Creating a New Identity. “Who do you think you are?…Answering this question, becoming aware of your identity, who you think you are and how it coincides (or doesn’t coincide) with who you want to be, could be the beginning of a behavioral change that could alter your life in unimaginably wonderful ways!”

Seth’s Blog: Destinations, Risks and Journeys. “When we conflate the destination with the journey and with our narrative of the risks, we have no hope of improving any of the three. Instead, we often pushed to throw out all three at once or embrace them all. But it’s possible, with effort and planning, to make the journey more palatable or the risks feel more tolerable.”

Arts, Music & Culture Corner

How a Drunken Golf Argument Got Matthew McConaughey Into Dazed and Confused. “McConaughey based his career-making performance as the sleazeball Wooderson on his older brother.”

Hear what Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ would sound like in a post-climate-change world. “The weather-inspired classical music piece has been upgraded to reflect how the climate will be in the future, with everything from violent storms to wildfires to complete silence when rising sea levels drown cities.”

He Just Wanted to Play Catch. They Got Relief From Troubled Times. “A callout on social media for a game of catch in Dallas drew a varied group of strangers who found escape from society’s turbulence in the most banal ritual.”

Reflection

“It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work.”– Wendell Berry

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan a senior advisor for Consultants Collective. He is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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