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:
- 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.
- “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.
- 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.
- And start working on a structured plan to become a Key Person Of Influence in your specialisation (www.keypersonofinfluence.com.au). 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.