By Laurie D. Sedgwick, Director of Career Management for Executive MBA Programs and Alumni
Before embarking on any career transition in today’s business world, I urge my students and clients to consider four critical career influencers that fall into two categories: external and internal factors. In this article, I’ll discuss the external factors that impact your career choice and should be considered in a career transition. Next month, I’ll discuss internal factors.
Market trends and career trends are the most significant external factors to carefully research and consider before taking any career leap.
Globalization and demographic shifts are both having a significant impact on careers today. For example, millennials are now the largest generation in the workplace in most countries and they are altering workplace culture and how we define work. Additional trends influencing careers today include the explosion of data and how we’re processing it, emerging technologies, and (whether you’re a believer or not) climate change.
Knowing what’s going on in the marketplace can inspire you to consider career fields you may not have previously considered, explore industries in emerging technologies or markets, and re-think your next career move. For example, is it time to explore opportunities with a late-stage startup? Read more about these trends in Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace by Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick.
I thoroughly believe that we are at an inflection point in how we define careers and what careers will look like in the future! People no longer work for one company and retire with a gold watch after 30 or 40 years; people have multiple careers and many job changes in a lifetime. The old “job hopping” label is not necessarily a red flag anymore. In addition to being aware of how careers are being re-defined according to how work gets done, you also need to consider which industries are growing and which industries are contracting. Human resource executives and executive search generalists will have the best perspectives on career trends. For example, today’s robust, rapidly expanding career areas include healthcare, IT, sales, marketing, and industrial engineering.
Before making your next career leap, first consider how market and career trends might affect your choice.
Next month, I’ll discuss two critical internal career influencers: behaviors and practices.
I’ll end my article with this quote from Daniel Pink, author of several provocative, bestselling books about business, work, and behavior:
“It’s likely that you will live longer, work longer and hold more jobs than any generation that’s come before. And, unlike the days of lifetime employment with one company, now it’s totally up to you to make your career everything you want it to be.”
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