Why Taking Stock of New Trends is Essential for Your Career

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about robots taking over jobs (see Wired or Forbes for related articles).  As a professional coach, should I be worried?  Should you?

It’s quite possible that a robot could be, or has already been, programmed to ask someone a series of thought-provoking questions that stimulate new insight and even a move to action.  However, I don’t think a robot can pick up on a person’s mood or sense an unspoken desire so I may still be in business for a few more years.

Nonetheless, all this talk about automating jobs is a great reminder that taking stock of new trends is essential for your career.  Change is scary to most people but it’s even scarier when you don’t know what’s coming.

By planning ahead with a yearly trend check, you’ll set yourself up for continued success in your career and maybe outlast a few generations of robots.

There are 4 main areas to consider for upcoming trends, including your own career, your profession, your industry and society-at-large.  The questions below will help you identify trends and plan for sustainability.

#1 – What trends can you notice in your career?

  • Do you feel challenged and motivated to go to work, or are you becoming bored and feeling stagnant? (if it’s the latter, check out this post for 3 steps needed to make a successful career transition)
  • Do you still have room to grow or have you reached a career peak that may signal it’s time to consider new options?
  • Who is inspiring you now, or serving as a role model?
  • What new opportunities are stirring your curiosity, and how do you need to position yourself to act on them?

#2 – What trends can you notice in your profession?

  • Is there new education criteria or credentialing requirements that you’ll need to meet?
  • Are the services you provide moving to a digital platform that you’ll need to adopt/learn?
  • Are people expecting you to market your products or services in a new way?
  • What’s your competition doing?

#3 – What trends can you notice in your industry?

  • Are there regulatory changes going on in your industry that will affect how you do business?
  • Is there a shift towards a certain product or service, and away from others?
  • How well does the public know about your industry now, and the value it provides?
  • Who is capitalizing on your industry and may cause a significant change in how your business is done?

$4 – What trends can you notice in society-at-large?

  • Is the spotlight on certain issues that may lead to a new opportunity or be perceived as a threat? (e.g. gender equality, youth hires)
  • What attitudes are changing and what might that mean for you? (e.g. mental health, parental benefits, home offices)
  • What are people focusing their attention on, and how does that align with what you care about? (e.g. politics, environment, spirituality)

By reflecting on your own thoughts, you may be surprised to discover how many trends have crossed your radar – some worrisome, some opportunity-oriented.  Share your thoughts with others to gain their perspective as well; this may calm some of your fears and allow you to consider even more possibilities.

Once you’ve become consciously aware of new trends, your subconscious will need a little time to process this information and generate new ideas to help you move forward.  Take note of these as they come to mind in the days and weeks following your trend check – and try not to panic!  The robots may be coming but as long as you do your yearly trend check, you will be more prepared to adapt and respond to any changes, setting yourself up for long-term career success.

Need help adapting to new trends in your work? Contact me for a free consultation to find out how career coaching can help you get clear about your future and start taking positive steps forward, or find out more about my career transition programs here.