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?

3 Steps to Find Your Passions

Let’s talk about how to find more passion in your life. After asking a few friends about their passions, many seemed to struggle with an answer. They shrugged it off with “I don’t have any passions” or “I haven’t found mine yet”. This was simply not true, as I knew for a fact they had many passions including surfing, design, travel, and music. So why did they think they lacked passion in their lives?

To many, “passion” is a loaded word…dripping with expectations of pure all-consuming excitement for something that also brings meaning and purpose to their lives. However, this view of “passion” isn’t completely accurate. Somewhere along the way, our society has concluded that passion = purpose. However, these are actually two different things.

Purpose is your reason for being; the thing that gets you up in the morning. It’s the driving force in your life that brings you ultimate fulfillment. Passion feeds into your purpose.

Passions are things or activities that get you excited or light a fire behind your eyes. You can be passionate about a number of things in your life that may not necessarily be your purpose. However, starting with passion will guide you to discover your purpose.

 

Finding passion in your life is very attainable. Perhaps you already have many passions and didn’t even realize it. Here’s an easy way to tell, fill in the blank:

I can do/talk about __________ for hours because I love it!

 

If you feel like you haven’t found what you’re passionate about yet, there is a method you could try to distill your passions from interests:

FINDING PASSION STEP 1: Starting With Interests

Make a list of all the things that you’ve ever been slightly curious about. Start to do some research to find out more and see what actually catches your attention. This stage is about gathering information to determine if there’s anything new you’d like to try or learn.

FINDING PASSION STEP 2: Trying Out Hobbies

From your initial interests, pick a few you’d like to pursue a deeper understanding through action. This stage is about trying out or learning a lot of different things to see what interests bring you enjoyment. You don’t have to be the best at it, but if you find that you want to continue to try/learn, it becomes a hobby.

FINDING PASSION STEP 3: Identify the Source of Excitement

Eventually, you’ll discover that some of your hobbies consume more of your time and excitement. Start to become aware of what conversations make you perk up, what activities leave you energized and excited, and what hobbies allow you to be more present and focused. Identify the source of your excitement, and continue to pursue your passions.

I hope this was helpful in finding more passion in your life! Please let me know below what you’re passionate about, or how you discovered your passions?

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”

5 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Happiness

When you think about “happiness,” what comes to mind? I used to think happiness meant feeling positive and successful all day every day, chasing a state of perpetual “happy” like it was the pinnacle of emotional achievement.  Unfortunately, this definition is too rigid and unrealistic to allow for those human moments when we feel less than excited about life, anxious, or worn down from the daily grind. I felt like I was lacking happiness when I didn’t feel constant euphoria, and the thought of not living the happiest and best life was a constant fear. However, I believe we all tell ourselves lies that prevent us from recognizing and honoring the happiness we DO possess in our lives. In today’s blog post, I discuss the 5 lies we tell ourselves about happiness and what we can all do to reframe what happiness means to us.

Continue reading “5 Lies We Tell Ourselves About Happiness”

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”