Articles & White Papers
21st Century Career Success
Surely you have noticed how much
your work life has changed recently. This article offers an
insight into how one can prepare for career success in the
new workplace and stay ahead of the changes that one may face.
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:
- Seeking more meaning from work.
- Equating "career success"
with personal satisfaction over paycheck or status.
- Everyone will need their own
- Increased use of technology.
- Finding work that needs doing.
- 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.
However, the 21st century career also
offers many advantages:
- 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 time.
- 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 environments.
- 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
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.
- 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 feeling uncomfortable.
- 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
- Create first-rate marketing
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 interactive website.
- 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, Customer
- Find your unique life balance.
There are four dimensions to life: love, labor, leisure,
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.
L. Casto, M.Ed. is a Whole Life Coach, Speaker, and Author
of the Get Smart! LearningBook Series: Get Smart! About Modern
Romantic Relationships and Get Smart! About Modern Career
She can be reached at Get
Smart Series and Bright
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