woman going through a career change
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Article provided by Sandra Evans, Managing Director, The Art of Work

Traditional career thinking is outdated and should be consigned to history.

Having a five year career plan and working towards it just doesn’t work anymore. Yet this is still so often the outdated advice given to people wanting to know how best to manage their careers.

So says Sandra Evans, Managing Director at The Art of Work and a recognised thought leader in the changing world of work.

But how can we plan for the future when the world of work is changing so quickly? Digital technology is having an increasing impact of our working lives and new jobs and roles being created on a daily basis. All generations are facing a new and complex workplace where traditional career paths are at best unclear and at worst nonexistent. Career maps are now increasingly more lateral and the rise of specialist career routes is forcing people to question if they really want to take on managerial roles which take them away from their passion and expertise. This together with the increased numbers of people taking up self employment and wanting more entrepreneurial roles means the notion of permanent employment is under threat.

So how do we keep up and help ourselves to make sense of which career path or route is the best in such a changing world? There are five new key rules emerging that we need to consider:

  1. Take control: While it’s great that our employers might support our career plans, it’s essential that we own our own careers and take action.
  2. Be flexible: Agile career plans are the new norm. Explore planning for multiple possible career routes and consider any gaps in your skills, knowledge and experience to understand which routes may have potential.
  3. Think differently: Think about ideas for breakout development opportunities and directions that will differentiate you from the crowd.
  4. Take intelligent risks: In today’s workplace, we are looking for meaningful work. Think about any choices and possible compromises that may be required to realise your potential.
  5. Relationships matter: Explore how you can how to pull opportunities from your network rather than just constantly pushing at closed doors?

As Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn says “The old career escalator is jammed. Age‐old assumptions about work have come undone.” Evans agrees and says it’s time for fresh thinking and a new approach.

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