It takes constant reinvention to make sure our efforts, career paths, and viability as valuable members of organizations, communities and disciplines continues throughout our career. To better imagine the second half of your career whether it’s in the job you’re currently doing or something new entirely you need to engage in the continuous sharing and re-purposing of your experience, passion, and expertise to create a platform of thought leadership around yourself. By becoming a recognized expert in your chosen domain or discipline you can attract new opportunities and career directions. To do this, the author recommends focusing on five core concepts:
- Entrepreneurialism: Who is my target audience? What problems can I help them solve? What’s the most effective way for me to provide my service to them? These questions start you down the path of building a “startup” centered around yourself.
- Self Confidence: When you’re standing at a crossroads in your life, know that you bring something unique to the table, something that no one else has. Your life experiences, diverse paths to your current position and obstacles overcome are the core of your newfound expertise platform. Be confident in what you know and build on that knowledge as you take on new projects.
- Continuous Learning: You learn by reading blog posts and books, and listening to podcasts and audiobooks, created by people who can help illuminate your path forward. Experiment constantly, learn from your results, and try again. Sometimes your experiments will succeed, and sometimes they won’t, but as long as you learn something from every experiment, you haven’t truly failed. Keep your mind open to the possibilities laid out before you.
- Continuous Improvement: Being enthusiastically skeptical means you’re always searching for a better way to do your job. If you’re learning continuously, and you’re applying the outcomes of your experiments to your platform, then you’re going to improve. What can you learn from others in your field who have been successful? What about leaders in other fields? What did they do to build their platforms and what can you apply to yours?
- Reinvention: Ultimately, becoming forever employable is all about reinventing yourself. If you want to stay forever employable, then you’ve got to be ready to reinvent yourself with the times. And that is coming in shorter and shorter cycles. Being forever employable means you’ve got to be intentional about where you’re going, and you’ve got to be prepared to act immediately and without hesitation when the right opportunity presents itself. With a foundation in your expertise, a thorough and current understanding of your domain and an ever-growing network to lean on you can guarantee the next job will find you.
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