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21st Century Career Success
by: Michelle L. Casto
When it comes to modern career development, one thing we can all
count on is change. With the advent of technology, telecommuting,
and E-commerce, how work is performed is in a state of reinvention.
Self-employment and small business development will become more the
norm than big business. And career changes will be more frequent due
to rapidly changing organizations and industries. Finally, the line
between one's personal and professional life will become even more
blurred. Since the modern world of work is rapidly changing to keep
up with the demands of our fast-paced lives and lifestyles, here are
some characteristics of what the new work contract will look like:
However, the 21st century career also offers many advantages:
- · Seeking more meaning from
- · Equating "career success"
with personal satisfaction over paycheck or status.
- · Everyone will need their own
- · Increased use of technology.
- · Finding work that needs
- · Changing in the way
management and leadership is conducted (less arrogance at the top
level, more power on lower levels).
- · Increased need for networking
- · Lifelong "trying on" of
various roles, jobs, and industries.
- · Creating a plan that is
flexible, and continually assessing the "fit" of the work.
- · Increased representation of
women and minorities in the workforce.
- · Changing career fields
numerous times in a lifetime.
- · Self-responsibility: Everyone
knowing they have to chart their own career direction.
How can you successfully navigate through the turbulent times of
change and career uncertainty? By developing resiliency, exercising
proactivity, creating excellent self-marketing tools, keeping your
skills up-to-date, and finding your unique life balance.
- · More career opportunities for
- · Freedom to choose from a
variety of jobs, tasks, and assignments.
- · More flexibility in how and
where work is performed, i.e. working from home or telecommuting.
- · More control over your own
- · Greater opportunity to
express yourself through your work.
- · Ability to shape and reshape
your life's work in accordance with your values and interests.
- · Increased opportunity to
develop other skills by working in various industries and
- · Self-empowerment mindset.
- · Allows you to create
situations or positions where you can fill a need in the world
that is not being filled.
- · Opportunity to present
yourself as an independent contractor or vendor with services to
1. Develop resiliency (the ability to bounce back).
Having the right attitude about career change is imperative to
your ability to bounce back from setbacks, sudden changes, and
twists and turns along your career path. You will experience a lot
of career change and transitions, so you may as well get comfortable
2. Take a proactive approach to your career development
You must constantly be on the lookout for new ways to apply your
gifts and talents in the new economy. This requires thinking
creatively, actively promoting yourself/business, and being actively
involved in how your career progresses. Staying involved in
professional associations, and continuous networking are excellent
ways to connect with other like-minded professionals.
3. Create first-rate marketing materials
Always keep your resume current. You never know when you are
going to want to share it with someone or pass it along. If you are
in business for yourself, develop classy business cards and
letterhead. Harness the power of the internet by developing an
4. Commit to lifelong learning
To keep earning, keep learning. Do not wait until you lose your
job or want to look for another position to gain new skills or
training. Recognize the need to be open to learning and attend
classes related to your area of expertise to keep your skills sharp
and marketable. Keep in mind the top skills needed for career
success include:Communication, Computer-knowledge, Creativity,
5. Find your unique life balance
There are four dimensions to life: love, labor, leisure,
learning. Remember that work is just one aspect of your life pie. Be
sure to indulge in all of your areas. Because having an overall
balanced life is what leads to the most fulfillment.