These are times when people are looking at their lives and the surrounding chaos and some are seeing their jobs disappear. It is not a good situation. If one is in that period of mid-life where one starts re-evaluating one’s life that has been and that would be, the imperatives and benchmarks are often different. How does one look for a direction forward? I will share with you two “frameworks” that I have used previously in my life.
Economy and My Direction should Synergize
It is important that one does what one feels one enjoys doing. But we also have to be mindful of where the world is going to? We cannot simply enter a new field or plan our future direction along a direction which the world is moving away from. So, I have found that it helps to sit down and analyze the future “sun-rise” areas. These are areas that are growing and will keep growing on for some time. It will help if you can position yourself in those areas and enjoy the ride as it all grows on. Jumping on the bandwagon? Well, you can say.. but it is more than that.. it is anticipating and forecasting the “bandwagon” of the future!
For this one needs to carefully interact, listen, read up on, and think on areas totally unrelated to what one does. Because if all you know is your area, the chances are you wont know anything else! And that is the key here – to think outside of the box!
This has served me well. When I was starting out in my career and 3 – 5 years into, I realized that I was a strong generalist with strong skills in analysis, so I moved to consulting. And once in consulting, I realized that ERP and technology will grow rapidly and I entered those areas as I moved on. That has helped me a lot in shaping my career over the years. What will I do next in the coming future? Good question! That is what I am evaluating currently.
Personal Review Plan
This plan framework was suggested to me by my brother in law and it has been a fairly good one to use. Basically you try to look where you are and where you want to go. Now, you also need to understand what you are working with on this journey from Current State (point A) to Future State (point B) – so make an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses.
Benchmarking vs Role Models
One way to grow and improve yourself is to fashion yourself on the way others have done before you. Generally speaking, I do not like the concept of “Role Models” – for people are people, and if you model yourself along any one you also may tend to pick up their weaknesses. So, I have chosen “Benchmarking” as the way for it. Benchmark people. Identify folks you like in any area and see how that person would respond or deal with a situation and you will get insights into how you can chart your way forward!
Charting the Way forward
Once you have an inventory of yourself and benchmarks on qualities you admire in others and the way they would go on such a path, then try and see what you already have in terms of credentials and wherewithal and therefore what you need in order to be there!
For example, if you want to be at a certain place in future, I have often found that looking in the market for the jobs you want to do in the next, say 5 years, and noting the requirements people have for those jobs is a good way to handle this. Make a note of all the requirements and see what all you have and what you can get in an easy way so you can “be there” in the next 5 years! This can help you have a formal plan forward.
Step-wise Action plan
After this exercise, just create a step wise action plan and put dates along them and move forward. The success will be yours!
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