Are you building your career today or curating it?
‘Building your career’ on the one hand conjures up images of ladders and hierarchy, boxes on an org chart, chinks in the chain of command - the execution of a preset plan. Binary decision-making at its finest. A series of calculated, career-enhancing moves.
‘Curation of your career,’ on the other hand, possesses more of a creative flair, something mindfully and artfully sculpted over time. The sense of more eclectic inputs selected for your life’s mosaic. A more colorful journey of exploration. An elegant exercise in making choices.
Are we not bearing witness to the old scaffolding of the organizational structure and everything it represents, coming down?
As we toggle between home and work, online and offline, structure and flexibility, responsibilities and freedoms - does your soul not seek both?
Do you find yourself pondering the deeper questions as you pave your own personal career path…
Should work life be considered a mountain to climb or a legacy of joy to share?
Should loyalties lie with your own inner compass, or with the "why" of your work? And can both actually exist?
Should you resign yourself to playing safe, plunging into chaos, or inhabiting the gray space in between?
Are missteps and mistakes as character-building as they say? Is it better sometimes to take one step back, in order to take two steps forward?
Can personal and professional development blossom simultaneously?
The Millennials and GenZ approach to career advancement is admirable - generally approaching life by seeking new opportunities and experiences that match and expand their world view. Not differentiating between work time and personal time. There is only time. And how it is being spent right now.
Change happens at the edges. Get to the edge.
The edge represents the space where new combinations of ideas bump up against each other and procreate. The mingling of new possibilities at that place beyond the comfort zone.
Adventuring within a company or making the bold move to shift to another throws up growth opportunities as you stretch into the new headroom and gradually make sense of the new possibilities.
The new age of career exploration and journeying doesn’t have to mean ditching the ladder completely. Remember, each rung in your story, the good and the bad, contributes to your holistic journey. Signals that you are on the right path, or not.
If you do find yourself at the top of a ladder you no longer want to be on, at least use the elevation to take a good look over the fence at other opportunities. Look out for conversations and projects that pique your interest. Notice how the best students in college were often adult students who actively chose to be there. Choose to be where you go next.
Your physiology doesn’t lie - listen to your body, the energy in your voice and your choice of words as you express yourself through the medium of the situation. Everything you need to know is inside you. You just need to listen.
Explore envy. Notice when the little green monster rears its head - when your internal dialog utters “I could have done that, and better”, “I wish I had her job”, “what is the big deal about that?” That’s your body and mind giving you a nudge to say “take note - there is something over there you need to pursue”.
Relentless glorious lifelong learning is our new full time job
We’re surfing the age of serial careers. Like our social media scroll, life has become an exercise in attention-seeking as we watch showreels of others leading a better life than ours and reminding us what we’re missing out on. What grabs us? When does the magic run out? And what do I do about it? Should I leave or ask for more?
We have access to a quicker route to mastery today with education undergoing a massive transformation enhanced by acceleratory learning methods. The traditional career we were condemned to carving out in the past is evaporating. Job-hopping, sector-switching and passion-pursuing, once rare, is now becoming the norm.
Unlock your compartments of passion. Double down on the areas you accelerate easily in because from that place you have the knack as well as the fire.
Career curiosity is all about constantly learning and experiencing new things. It’s about stretching and improving and growing. Whole person living.
Whether it’s changing lanes or changing focus as we pull away from the hangover methodologies of the industrial revolution, the rote learning, factory-worker parameters of the past.
Stimulation sits at the nexus between needing to solve a problem and having enough know-how and tenacity to get it done. Find something to solve and go all-in.
Holding on to human equity
One of the key challenges presented today is the challenge of holding talent in an organization. The shift to career curiosity means that in order to keep the most precious and curious talent, lives the need to provide genuine opportunities for upskilling – as well as some legitimate employee care.
Some progressive organizations like ScotiaBank, in Canada, are hiring without a resume, on aligned passion for the brand and then assessing the skill set in a more holistic company way. This enables the company to place employees in roles according to those desires and strengths and evolve the roles as business needs dictate. This dynamic assessment of both the roles and the souls is illuminating and, lo and behold, people are staying!
Retention is no longer just about the paycheck or a new title. It’s about revealing a new world of skills for employees. From technical capabilities and interpersonal, organizational and self-management skills that cross the ever-evaporating barrier between work and life.
Investing in putting a key team member through a cookery class, or giving them the opportunity to learn a language – or any skill – of their choice can be more enriching and motivating for them to stay with you.
Career curiosity also means that the basic needs and wants of every employee – to be recognized for their work and for their wellbeing to be considered and customized for them. Fail in these areas and curiosity will take these folks elsewhere to find answers.
Curiosity breeds diversity
More and different perspectives make for better decisions per se. And therein lies the magic of diversity. Introducing more curiosity to the group and the individuals in it helps future-proof your business.
Brands in the health- fitness- and wellness-tech sectors are particularly well placed to welcome curious talent from other tech sectors and we witness that in the rise of connected fitness and digital fitness. The pandemic has contributed to a booming wellness sector with plenty of growth potential and innovation. You only have to look at the sheer amount of startups in this area – and acknowledge the big plays Apple, Google and Samsung are embarking on in wellness and health to know we have a front seat in human progress and expansion.
Also, by definition, the health and wellness tech sector is about helping people. That alone will appeal to those looking to deploy their tech talents in a more meaningful way.
The secret for brands, when it comes to outcompeting cross-industry rivals and securing that talent, is to invest in upskilling and reskilling. Offer people the tools to grow and the curious will come to play.
Set your soul on fire by feeding your curiosity in the following ways
Commit to doing the work to live on purpose and work on purpose
Embrace that niggling feeling pulling you elsewhere
Contact a career coach to explore it
Entertain “what if,” color outside the lines and deliberately put yourself in new contexts to develop your ‘change muscle’
Fall in love with the process of discovery
Expect that process to be exhilarating, challenging and a tad messy
Step towards the pull of intrigue and away from mundaneness
If your curiosity leads you to senior roles within health and wellness - reach out to a good soul here firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: Pexels/Elijah O'Donnell