Brushing Aside Uncertainty to Welcome Opportunities
In the VUCA world today, remaining status quo can be considered as the biggest taboo leading to self-destruction. This applies to both organizations and individuals alike. While organizations are more likely to try and adapt considering all the competition they face, somehow, it is the individuals that remain more contented with themselves and face stronger inertia to change. This is something dangerous because similar to organizations, individuals are facing competition for limited positions in the market as well. Or at least, positions that are attractive. How should individuals like you and me then prepare ourselves to ensure that we remain relevant in the ever changing and highly uncertain environment?
Understand where your strengths lie and what gives you an edge over the rest. You should probably be worried if what you have is generic and common across all talents in the market. But even so, there is still opportunity to play catch up. Understand your strengths, interest and values then venture from there. With limited resources on hand, understanding areas that you can leverage on gives you the awareness of where to build and where not to venture into.
Know your strength and learn how to hone your craft. Capitalize on your advantage and take it one step further in order to separate yourself from the others. After all, everyone is unique. Seek to pick up a new skill annually and sharpen it. It’s just a matter of how you want to develop yourself to stand out among the crowd. Find your niche area and shine!
Invest in yourself
Just like how we invest in stocks hoping for it to appreciate in value, the same concept should be applied to individuals. Do not underestimate training and development opportunity that can benefit you in the long run. Companies may not be in the position to support all your developmental needs. However, nothing is stopping you from seeking out such growth on your own. This can come in the form of online courses, attending higher learning or even getting a mentor.
Focus on competency building rather than just progressing up the career ladder.
It’s easy to be caught up in the rat race and lose sight of what is truly valuable to one’s career. Individuals might place too much emphasis on the promotions and job titles rather than the foundation of success - building competencies. To be truly valuable in the market, competencies are what organizations need, not your job title. Focus on building the various skillsets that will allow you to maneuver around complex situations and in turn, provide you with the ability to adapt and excel when disruption arises.
Connect with other professionals
Building your network of influence and support is key for long term success. However, to ensure sustainability in the relationship, true connection has to be made through authenticity. That said, learn to build genuine relationships and obtain win-win situations through collaboration. If one only plans to tap on the network without giving back, it's a matter of time before this network dissolves.
Add value to others
Writing articles and mentoring are ways to help provide perspectives to guide others who are less experienced. These are ways to give back to the community while learning in the process. Not only will you be able to gather new insights, it is also a good move to help build a positive image of someone who actively contributes and value-adds. This itself will potentially attract like-minded people to you.
Keep an open mind on options
It is easy to remain comfortable and do what you are accustomed to doing. But is that the best way? Does that restrict you from thinking beyond your boundaries? It probably does. As such, it is important to get out of your comfort zone and consider options that lies beyond your existing safety net. This will not only open doors to a whole new array of opportunities, it will also broaden your horizon which leads to development and growth.
Like it or not, technology is going to be a big part of the work we do moving forward. Looking at the number of tech startups and introduction of new online tools, avoiding such a phenomenon is pure self-deception. Even if you are unfamiliar with all the new technological tools in the market, the least you should be aware of are some trends and tools in the market. You do not need to be an expert in it, but at the very least, embrace and accept that these tools will now be part and parcel of your daily work. Failing which, it can make you obsolete really fast.
Uncertainty is actually a window of opportunities. It is an avenue for individuals who are ready to adapt and up their game to further leapfrog their competitors. Just like change, learning needs to be a constant as well. Be ready to keep up with the environment and you will reap the benefits from it.