Every career begins at a starting point; it’s about adding value and making money. But, it’s how the career unfolds with you at the helm that ultimately determines your career success.
Nearly half of all new employees start thinking about a career change within the first three years of starting their career journey. Beating the odds at the start of a career is tough. First off, a job, no matter how good, must be combined with an entrepreneurial spirit, ultimately the readiness to take risk. And, without a determined spirit, you might not be able to follow through on your chosen career path.
Not all jobs are created equally. You might be an unprepared job seeker who rushed into taking a job without careful thought. Not thinking about what value, you wish to add and how the post will affect your overall social and emotional disposition. The risk might be inherent in career choice, but successful professionals are those who are not only willing to take risks but are also able to manage risk intelligently and stand out.
The next hurdle is how do you create value that exceeds the expectation of your clients. Some individuals require very little push, and a few require none. But most require a major push and will need to upskill at some stage in their career growth process. An employee must be able to convince their employer that they are worth the investment and that they have the skills and know how to continually add value to the business.
Determining whether a path you choose has potential requires a study of how human-centred it is. Who is my work going to impact? Are people in need of my services? How is my work perceived by consumers?
Most skills are increasingly competitive. Few are lucky enough to be linchpins — ready to succeed. In today’s competitive working environment those who do something different to stand out are noticed. This means you need to demonstrate that what you offer is something that is not readily available from others — your Unique Selling Point.
Such efforts to stand out can be seen everywhere. Every CV at every stage of interaction with prospective employers from fluency to ability to generate result tries to distinguish himself/herself from others. Walk into any interview room, and you will see individuals with the same skill set, using the way they dress to the way they act and even to the way they showcase their CV or portfolio to stand out from the crowd.
Gaining an edge often depends on one of two things: coming into your career space with a different niche or being distinct from others.
Adapting to survive
Surviving in a career depends upon you to continually reinvent yourself to remain ahead of the game. The space in which we find ourselves is rarely if ever, static. Just look at the present dynamics of our world and you will notice how it’s continually growing and evolving. The idea on which you set out when starting your career may become irrelevant over time, and inevitably someone else will possess exactly what you have to offer. Just as companies must adapt, so too must employees.
Most people start with little or no knowledge about the changes that might occur as they grow with their job. Few individuals are willing to take the next step of changing the way in which they work. Each passing year you require a new set of skills. Where once energy, passion and ideas were enough, today employers must develop delegation, skills, coordination, and communication.
Finding a balance
The desire to grow and upskill is, therefore, your responsibility. It’s up to you to stand out and do something meaningful. Be unique, define your niche, and the attitude and willingness to do all it takes. Employers need to be flexible. It’s the balance of these factors that determines your ability to start as a newbie and end as a thought leader.