Future-Proof With Micro-Careers

Food for thought: Your current job may no longer exist in 10 years. Yes, that’s quite a bold statement, but here’s why I think we should be prepared for the inevitable. The rate of technological advancement is exponential, yet the way we think about work and career are still very linear. Most future projections indicate that machines/AI will either force us to adapt how we work alongside tech or eliminate some jobs altogether; giving rise to new industries we have yet to consider.

What does this mean for us? Instead of dedicating all of our working years to only learning 1 skill, in 1 industry, in 1 career, we need to shift our focus from climbing up a corporate ladder to building out a web of skills to help us weather the future storm of progress.

So then the question becomes, how do we prepare for a future where the jobs we’ll have in 5-10 years hasn’t even been invented yet? I want to introduce to you the concept of “micro-careers”:

What is a Micro-Career?

A micro-career is a series of either related or unrelated jobs and careers for the purpose of rapid skill acquisition across various industries and verticals. Think of it as training for the modern day renaissance man/woman. We can’t possibly know exactly what will become of the workforce in the future, but having a collection of transferable skillsets across industries is a strong start.

Start thinking about your career as you would a financial portfolio.

Your time and energy are investable assets that you should diversify, prioritize, rebalance, in order to move towards your version of success. If you invest all your time in a single career, you risk losing out on creating a foundation in another career vertical that could prove to be more lucrative in the future. As the job market becomes increasingly more competitive, with new needs and skills required for a future with AI and tech, the risk of becoming redundant is a very real threat if you’re unprepared. The key is to hedge your bets that the future will create jobs that could suit someone with a diverse skillset.

What Micro-Careers are NOT

I’m not encouraging you to jump from job to job like some manic career shark. Jumping ship at the first challenge is NOT what micro careering is about. If you spread yourself too thinly without gaining actual transferrable skills, you’re building a weak career portfolio. Rather, I’m advising that you are very deliberate with the types of skills you want to acquire and integrate into your future career. Some technical skills will take years to master to the point of it being useful (ie, medicine), or some skills you could learn in a few short years (ie, social media marketing). The skills you choose to focus on will depend on how it aligns with your passions, future job trends, and your own ability to grasp each skill.

It’s not about picking the perfect job for 10 years down the line. It’s about picking jobs based on what skills you want to learn, and collectively how future-proof it could be. It’s very rare to find a single job that is ultimately satisfying for all of eternity, but perhaps you could look within your current job/company to learn new skills to help you down the line. Life happens, people change, families grow, your interests change, but knowing you have a great bank of skills to choose from can ensure you are prepared.

Who Are Micro-Careers For?

Everyone. From the new graduate to those in a stable job, it’s never too late to start learning and adapting for a future job market that demands a varied background. A skill is a skill, nobody can take that away from you. Even if you’ve been in a stable job, think about what other skills you can add that will help enhance your current role or even help make the transition to another job. If you’re not sure where to start, consider learning skills that align with your passions.

 

What do you think? Do you think micro-careers will work for you? Why or why not?

How to Define Your Version of Success

How we define success can either positively or negatively impact our happiness, depending on the source of influence. So often in life, we get distracted by other people’s/society’s version of success. Feelings of inadequacy and failure are common when success is influenced by subconscious programming from external sources. These subconscious ideas of success from media, our friends or our own family are seeded so deep we swear it was our own idea. If you’ve ever felt a small level of growing dissatisfaction in your life, consider this:

The success you’re chasing might not actually be your own.

The key to reprogramming your definition of success is to shift the source of influence from external to internal. There are two steps to define your OWN version of success that will lead to more fulfillment in your life. Ask yourself the questions below:

Removing what is not your version of success

1. What is motivating me to reach success currently? – Take a hard look at what is driving you. Is it influenced by external pressures to keep up with the Joneses, or seeking approval from family/friends? Is it ego? Is it money?
2. Is my current definition of success the same as people around me? – Success is a very personal goal, and if it’s pretty much the same as those around you, perhaps you’re getting swept up in their version of success and not yours.
3. If nobody was watching/validating my success, would I still be doing what I’m doing now? – A lot of what we do is a direct reaction to how we want others to perceive us. Do you strive for success for yourself or to gain recognition/money/power? If the answer to this question is “no, I would not still be doing what I’m doing now”, go back to question #1 above.

By becoming more aware of external influences that shape your current success trajectory, you can start to remove those that don’t serve your life goals. Shed the noise that’s distracting you from achieving your success.

Identify what success actually means to you

1. Who do I aspire to be like? – Think about the people you admire, what qualities do they have? Are people you aspire to be like successful in particular ways that may not necessarily match with what you see in the media as “successful”?
2. What values and principles matter to me? – Is it quality time with family? Finding a work/life balance? Working in an authentic way that brings you joy? Making an impact on society?
3. If you could start over, what does true happiness look like in your life?  – After clearing what isn’t your version of success, visualize what happiness looks and feels like to you. How do you feel when you think about achieving happiness? What are the things you’re doing? Who is in your life? How are you impacting others? Find the link between your passions, your core values, and how you impact the people you care about in your life = success.

Defining your own version of success gives you a new north star to guide you on your path. You’re no longer distracted or caught up by what other people are doing. Success is not a comparison game, and it’s something that is achieved internally.

If you spend your whole life trying to chase other people’s version of success, you’ll only end up dissatisfied or inadequate.I’ve felt this exact way,after all the promotions, the money, the title, and everything on paper…it was a lonely and hollow “success”. I hope that by sharing the lessons I’ve learned about chasing external versions of success will help you to redefine your own version to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Sending love and light,
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How to define success_from desk to deck

The 1 Thing to Make Your Year Great

https://youtu.be/Mtt7d5yGZmk

It’s the start of a fresh new year! I’m willing to bet that most of you have already made a list of new year’s resolutions, milestones, and other things you’d like to achieve this year (like you probably do EVERY year)…BUT, I want to simplify your life by asking you to do just 1 thing. This one thing will create a shift in your perspective that will guide the rest of the year to make it great.

Ready?

Write this down or repeat this to yourself:

I WILL CONSCIOUSLY & ACTIVELY CHOOSE MY LIFE

 

Yes it seems deceptively simple, but let me break down 3 reasons WHY this is effective:

1. It puts the responsibility on YOU

It’s a major mindset change for many because people like to blame external circumstances for reasons why they CAN’T do something. This shifts the responsibility to the “other”…when the entire time YOU have the responsibility to yourself. Even if you have goals set out for the year, you will tell yourself, “oh, well I couldn’t do this or that because I didn’t have the perfect situation or I didn’t have enough time…” ACTIVELY CHOOSE YOUR LIFE = to be active doesn’t mean you let things fall into your lap or let it happen to you…it’s going to take work. But you’re working and choosing for yourself and that’s important.

2. It gives YOU more control of your future

Let me ask you, how many times do you wake up and realize 3 months have passed and you’re not sure what you’ve been doing that whole time? That’s you on autopilot. No matter how great your intention for yourself this year, NOTHING will happen if you live in auto-pilot. CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE YOUR LIFE = to be conscious is to be aware of every choice you make, even if it seems small. Automatically doing things because you’ve always done it, or saying “yes” to things that you don’t want to be doing or focusing on people and situations that don’t nourish your vision…that’s not being conscious, that’s letting other people decide your future. That’s you not consciously deciding. This year it’s time to wake up and take control.

3. It will help you OWN your life.

It’s ok if you have moments where you feel like a failure – because trust me, you and everyone else will continuously fail – but having the thought that you’re choosing your life makes it possible for you to always course correct and find yourself back to center again. Nobody else is living this life, not your parents, not your friends, not your boyfriend or girlfriend. You are 100% going to choose your life – through the wins and the challenges – it will be authentic because it’s YOURS.
 

If you need a little reminder, I made some free phone backgrounds you can download below. Enjoy!

I wish you all a wonderful year ahead and sending everyone lots of light and love.


Don’t be Thankful, Do This Instead

Before you think I’ve gone completely insane by asking you not to be thankful (it is Thanksgiving after all), hear me out. It’s so easy to feel thankful when you’re surrounded by friends and family, on holiday, or when all is going great in your life. According to the definition of “thankful”, the word means “pleased and relieved”, which in my interpretation means a word associated with a reactionary feeling. It’s a passive thing to feel “thankful”, and doesn’t demand much effort on your end to feel thankfulness, especially on a day that almost requires you to feel this emotion.

On the flip side, “gratefulness” is defined as “showing an appreciation of kindness.” It’s not just a reaction, but an active response to an act of kindness that requires more than just a knee-jerk reaction of “thankfulness”.

My wish for all you today is to actively carry the act of gratefulness in your heart rather than blindly celebrating “thankfulness”. Be actively grateful for all the kindness you’ve been shown in your life to allow you to live the way you do today. Be actively grateful for the kindness of friends, strangers, and family members who have paved the way for your life. Do not passively show “thankfulness” and merely be “pleased and relieved” for this one wonderous life you’ve been given. Hold gratefulness in your heart today. Hug your family members, tell your friends you love them, and be grateful for each and every amazing soul you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, as they are the ones who shape and influence your life. Today is just one day, but gratefulness can last the other 364 days of the year.

Who or what are you grateful for today?

Life is a Sand Mandala

Years ago, I witnessed my first sand mandala ceremony. What exactly is a sand mandala? A Tibetan Buddhist tradition, sand mandalas involve painstakingly placing millions of colored sand grains into intricate geometric “paintings”. After spending days or weeks to complete the beautiful design, the monks deliberately destroy the mandala to meditate on the impermanence of life. Continue reading “Life is a Sand Mandala”

My Journey from Desk to Deck

I was pretty much as corporate as they come. I spent 10 years of my life working at global media agencies, advertising for major brands, managing multi-million dollar ad spends, and becoming the first head of marketing for a successful fitness start-up. Every summer in college, I interned for major ad agencies in Boston, and even competed against other schools in national advertising pitches (nerd alert!) You could say I was heavily committed to my marketing career. After graduating, I quickly found a job at a top media agency in NYC. Everything was going according to plan.

Continue reading “My Journey from Desk to Deck”