How To Prevent Your Career From Being “Uber’ed”

This is a time of business and career extinction. There’s also massive opportunity. Here’s a simple model on how to make sure you triumph through relentless change.

“Fintech” is exploding globally. Many banks are funding incubator hubs where Fintech start-ups beaver away trying to, wait for it, put the banks out of business. Bill Gates explained it a few years ago: “The world needs banking. The world does not need banks.” So the banks are smartly making sure they have a stake in anything that is likely to change the rules, and cannibalize their core business.

I gave two big speeches recently – to 1,500 marketing, digital and research industry leaders. My message was simple. Work on yourself as a project –  harder than you work on your job – or end up on the career scrap-heap of has-beens. I told the Gates story, then challenged them, as I am you now, to do this exercise:  think about what you do as a job and then fill in the blanks of this statement:

The world needs………  The world does not need………

The world needs advertising. The world does not need advertising agencies. The world needs marketing, the world does not need marketeers. And on it goes: needs insights/does not need researchers…. needs rooms to stay in when you are away from home/does not need hotels…. ‘on demand’ transport on the roads/does not need taxis or limos…. commercial aviation/travel agents….. recruitment/recruiters….. Get the picture. You put what your industry does in the first space, and then your role in the second. How many of you are taking a deep breath with the heart beating a little faster?

Staying One Step Ahead Of Change

Stay calm. There is a path to keeping one step ahead of change. Here are the key steps:

  1. Make sure you are ‘available’ and prepared  to keep changing and evolving your offer. This is the hardest part. Fact is, what got you here won’t get you there. It’s as simple as that. If you’re not ready to change, then you’re stuffed. End of story.
  2. “The one skill you want to master in this day and age we live in… is the ability to learn rapidly.” That’s Anthony Robbins. It’s profound. Become a brilliant and fast learner.
  3. Remember this- your leverage is your experience. What you know is of real value to others. Build your experience, push yourself to the front, put your hand up, take responsibility, push, push, push.
  4. And start working on a structured plan to become a Key Person Of Influence in your specialisation ( Five steps to this:

a) Clarity– get very clear on your elevator pitch about YOU, and what you bring. What’s your bumper sticker? I developed mine a few years ago: Chris Savage: Inspiring Growth. This is what I do. This is what I bring to the party. What about you?

b) Credibility– publish your content. Remember, your leverage is your experience. Write it up. Articles. Blog posts. White papers. I started this blog five years ago. Published every week. After the first two weeks, I had four subscribers (including my Mum). The next week it rose to seven. Then the next week three had unsubscribed (including my Mum). Bloody hell! Persevere. Possums now has 11,000 weekly readers and followers. Good things have come from it. PUBLISH.

c) Scalability– in time, this means ‘productising’ what you do. For example, I now regularly train a leadership team or business in half or full day sessions, at relatively high fees (and huge value of course.) Point is- I have packaged up what I know, and get a premium for it. Start though, by focusing on diversifying your skill set. Keep pushing deeper, and broader. Have more strings to your bow.

d) Visibility- publishing content will help. Also look for opportunities to give speeches, write thought leadership articles, be quoted in your trade press. Push yourself to the front.

e) Connectivity– partner, collaborate, align. And build your networks. The most powerful trigger to building your influence is giving your time to help others.

You CAN stay ahead of change. It’s all about working on yourself like a project. Do it consistently, and well, and you’ll be in the front row of your career for as long as you want to be.

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21 Responses to How To Prevent Your Career From Being “Uber’ed”

  1. Jayne Albiston September 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    Awesome. Will be sharing this with even more people than I usually share your blog with. My bumper sticker is Jayne Albiston: Inspiring Solutions. Found that ‘core process’ a few years ago and have built my personal brand around it. Not sure if you have had your 100 coffees yet Chris but I would still like to try again to meet up. 🙂

    • Chris Savage September 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      Thanks Jayne! Always available. Let me know when next in town. Chris

  2. Ian Hamilton September 16, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    Great piece Chris, succinct and to the point. Hate to quote your brother here but some years ago he did say “what will your client pay for if you don’t provide the candidate’ remember I am in recruitment. That is something we use to drive the business or a daily basis, asking what is the value we offer, however now that Uber is here your term is more succinct, sorry Greg, what is going to stop us being Uber’ed. Love it.

    • Chris Savage September 16, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      Thanks Ian- most of my brother’s sayings were stolen from me anyway. Chris

  3. Richard Burrage September 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    Damn good advice Chris – copied this one.

    • Chris Savage September 16, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Thanks Richard- good to hear!! Chris

  4. Paulette September 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    Great article and there sure aren’t many of us who aren’t replaceable unless we add value to what we do to become irreplaceable.

    • Chris Savage September 16, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Thanks Paulette!

  5. Mark September 16, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

    Each “hump day” you find a way to motivate me to better myself. Thank you.

    • Chris Savage September 16, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      Thanks Mark!!

  6. Karen September 16, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    Enjoyed that Chris!

    • Chris Savage September 17, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

      Thanks Karen.

  7. Clare Robinson September 16, 2015 at 8:36 pm #

    Love your insights as always Chris, we were just talking about jobs becoming obsolete and how you get more people comfortable with change last night amongst a group of Bright Sparks (coaches, conscious business leaders, consultants) who want to create more impact together. I also believe change starts with clarity and then actions to build momentum but I’ve also noticed this can feel exhausting so I’m exploring an ‘F – for reflection or self awareness’ less push and more ‘be’ to allow flow and things to unfold. Maybe also there’s a ‘G – for Purpose’ – channeling Gandhi – ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’, purpose is a big driver to stay resilient to change. Thanks again!

    • Chris Savage September 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      Thanks Clare!

  8. Annie Pettit, CRO Peanut Labs September 17, 2015 at 4:09 am #

    Really enjoyed your talk at AMSRS. It resonated very well with me!

    • Chris Savage September 17, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

      Thanks Annie. Appreciate the feedback. Chris

  9. Erik Posthuma September 17, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Great stuff as always Chris. Love the concept of key person of influence and working on it already. You just gave me another burst of energy.

    • Chris Savage September 17, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

      Thanks Erik!!

  10. John Chalmers September 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

    So I was lucky to see you give the marketing talk and have referenced it several times. Now it’s GREAT to have it in writing!

    • Chris Savage September 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

      Thanks John!

  11. Lisette September 23, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Thanks Chris, inspiring as always. I have been hesitant and admittedly overwhelmed by the challenge of putting my own brand stamp out there, despite writing so much on behalf of other executives over the years. I’ve always wanted to focus on this though – any tips for taking the plunge other than “just go for it”?

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