This is an expansion to The Importance of Adopting the Mindset of a Gigger to bulletproof your career. Be sure to check that first article out if you missed it!
Giggers learn to go with the flow. They have to. Assignments start, get put on hold, speed up, slow down and morph. So giggers develop resiliency to roll with the punches. Change is the order of the day for them. Which leads me to my first of four tips.
1. Hone Your Ability to Adapt to Change
This is the number one most important skill for you for the rest of your career.
Start in your own life. Look at where you may be in a rut. Is it the food you eat? Where’s a new place you’re willing to shop or a new hobby you’re willing to take up?
Start by making small changes in your life and noticing how you adjust. And read the myriad of articles and books and listen to podcasts on this topic. In short, become an enthusiastic student of change—now.
2. Take Ownership & Control of Your Career Destiny
This one is very simple: You must realize that no one is ever going to care as much about your career as you do. And, your loyalty must be to yourself and your family.
3. Engage & Invest in Self-directed Learning that Serves Both Your Current & Future Roles
Giggers know that one of their biggest competitive advantages, and something that their clients expect, is that they are always on the cutting edge, if not the bleeding edge of their area of expertise. And always adding new skills to their service offerings. They look out to the horizon and beyond so that they stay ahead of the curve.
For corporate executives, annual development plans are often driven by what the company is able to offer. They are, understandably, directed toward skills that will exclusively benefit the company and most often limited to their industry. If their vision is limited, they could become like Blockbuster, Toy’s R Us and others. If the company is not on the lookout for disruption, will the learning and development you receive there offer help set you up for future success?
Take advantage of the learning and development that is offered in your current role, but also engage in self-directed learning that will serve you both in your current job as well as prepare you for the future and for emerging trends.
Sites like Udemy or LinkedIn Learning or any number of online learning platforms offer a multitude of choices. And, you can also create your own curriculum to understand what futurists are predicting about your area of expertise and industry.
Create your own plan for conferences and trade shows that you should be attending and select the breakout session on topics that are relevant to your future. Build a broad library of books or audiobooks which can be absorbed in “NET” time—that is no extra time. Simply listen on your commute or while exercising. Don’t leave this up to anyone else but yourself.
4. Open Your 401k Account
Yes, you may sacrifice some matching dollars, but too often the money gained by maxing out is offset by the penalties that are paid to access that money. And, having your own safety net gives you many more options when you are in a job search. You can take the role that really feels and fits best, not the one you need to take because your runway is running out.
Remember, if you want to bulletproof your career for life and be the one in control of your future destiny, my number one piece of advice is to observe and adopt the mindset of giggers.
I’m offering complimentary 15-minute consultation calls to help you get started on Bulletproofing Your Career today!