Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get (Career planning is DEAD)Jan 09, 2023
We all know the career advice of yesteryear. You know, the kind you heard from a career counsellor in high school. They were about to retire themselves and swore up and down that in order to succeed in life, you must be either a lawyer, a doctor or an accountant. I’m not really liking my options here, Debra.
The way our parents planned out their careers is over, my friends. Previous generations didn’t plan for TikTokers to get paid more than Neurosurgeons. They relied on choosing a steady career path that pays them well, sticking with that and then retiring with a mansion and several cars. This isn’t the reality of the world anymore.
We’ve got two major hang-ups from past generations. The first is an outdated definition of success. The way doing well in life has been defined is you go to university for a degree, work hard and make a bunch of money. You stay in the same industry, the same profession, the same company, doing your all to work your way up to the top. Everything heads in one direction: up.
The second is that the same values system was placed on everyone. Workplace values meant sitting down, shutting up, and doing your job. It doesn’t matter if your personal values don’t align with the work you’re doing. You have got to ignore your feelings, don’t rock the boat, and be a good little worker bee.
Both of these concepts simply don’t apply to our generation. The political climate has changed drastically. We are living through one of the biggest work revolutions in history - new professions and industries are being introduced constantly. There is so much variety out there - we want more from our work.
Four major shifts that have transformed career plans into career visions
Career planning is dead. You heard me. Well, at least, the old way of career planning is dead. There are four major shifts that have turned a traditional career plan into a career ✨ VISION ✨. What are these four changes and how on earth do careers work now? I’m glad you asked, badass.
Climbing the career ladder ➡ scaling a career jungle gym
You no doubt will have heard of the “career ladder”. It’s the concept where we start from the bottom and slave away our whole lives, slowly getting closer to a bigger piece of the pie as we go. Guess what? Scratch that career ladder. We’re climbing a “career jungle gym”.
“What on earth is a career jungle gym?” I hear you asking. I know, I thought my back wouldn’t hold together to be climbing something like that. A career jungle gym means our career isn’t constantly going in one direction. We are giving ourselves permission to try new things.
Slide down the jungle gym, start a side hustle, and pivot sideways into a new career entirely. We have the opportunity to play with our careers and design work that slots in with what we want. We can keep work fun and new while keeping it meaningful. You get to take you with you, while your career adapts to your natural strengths and talents.
There’s nothing wrong with going with a traditional career path, these are aligned for particular people and if that’s you, you should absolutely go for it! What is wrong is telling everyone that they must follow one of five professions and that is what will make them happy. It’s all about finding work that aligns with you and your values.
There is no moving backwards in your career anymore. When you’re constantly learning and evolving, this means you’re desirable on the market. Recruiters don’t care about how long you stay in a company - it’s about how agile you can be. Someone with a variety of skills and the enthusiasm to take on new challenges is worth more than any person who has years of experience but no life left in them. After all, 65% of today’s kids will be in jobs that haven’t been invented yet. There are over 12,000 career options out there. Why not give a few a try?
Compromising on your values for your career ➡ designing a career that works for you
For previous generations, the world was easier economically to work a regular job and make some decent money so you could lock down your pension and retire comfortably. This delayed gratification just isn’t cutting it for us. The thought of working my ass off for my whole life so I can go on a cruise at 70 years old, funnily enough, is not my dream life.
At the same time, we aren’t chasing the fancy cars and giant houses filled with stuff. Sure, materialistic things can be nice - but what our generation really craves is purpose. We want work that gives us fulfilment and intellectual stimulation. In the climate we live in, we want to feel like what we are doing matters.
All this to say, we aren’t really chasing the mega salary so much anymore. Maybe we’re looking for a part-time job so we have time to work on our Etsy store selling handmade jewellery. We want remote work so we can foster kittens in our free time. We make our careers fit in with our lives and value, not compromise on who we are to suit our employers.
Importance of job title ➡ importance of who you are
Having the most impressive sounding job title was the marker to success. This is no longer a flex. Today, we are in a work revolution. Alternative work is on the rise - this means the gig economy of freelancers, online businesses, and side hustles is taking over.
Our careers today are flexible. Many of us have several streams of income from side hustles instead of one standard full-time role. Instead of opportunities coming from your next corporate job, they now come from who you are. People are capitalising on their strengths, personality types, and their values.
By 2050, all jobs will be related to the gig economy. It’s essential to think about what kind of work lights you up, and whether you can you make this happen for yourself rather than waiting for the perfect job to pop up so you can do it for someone else. Keep an open mind, there are endless possibilities out there!
Traditional education leading to work ➡ lifelong learning
A major shift for our current generation is education. In the past, education was gained primarily through tertiary education from universities. You would study once, right after high school, and that would be it.
With the rise of online education and boot camps, you could pivot into UX Design in 3 months. The need to study once is long gone. In fact, many people have made incredible careers for themselves with no formal education at all. Having a very expensive piece of paper is no longer a guarantee for a good job, so why go into masses of debt to be left with nothing at the end?
If I went back to university and completed another master's degree in online business, I would not be here writing this article for you. Badass Careers would not have existed. I learned through trial and error, networking, transferrable skills, and online education. The value of being a lifelong learner as opposed to traditional education is astronomical.
We’re in a new age of careers, badass. Purpose and alignment are our two biggest pillars of success. We’re moving from a 20-40 year career plan to a 5-year vision. We get to play with our career, see how it feels, shift around and try new things. We define our careers, they don’t define us. How freaking cool is that?!
If you’re looking to get deep into implementing a modern-day career strategy and hold the power to reinvent yourself time and time again, you need to check out my programme: Career Glow Up. We’ll uncover the proven roadmap to make your next strategic career move and get you on the express lane to your dream career – all gas, no brakes. See you there 😉