Constant change is changing how we think about careers – Lean thinking will help you adapt

Are you overwhelmed by the new normal of constant change? Don’t know where your career is going and what to do to get it back on track? Has the track disappeared altogether? Lean career thinking to the rescue! It will help you realise your career goals without the burden of ‘all-things-must-change’.

The times definitively have a-changed. Unfortunately, we can’t anymore rely on long-term-employment or rest on the laurels of competence gained in the past. Fortunately, we now have new autonomy and means to professionally go where we want to go, when we are not stuck in the given career paths or competence demands of a stagnant profession, single employer or static way of working.

Something old, something new, something borrowed – a career rhyme of our times

Despite having succumbed to the inevitability of change and need for professional renewal, rest assured – we can still enjoy and build upon our past experience and competence. The trick is to add on to it in novel ways. For your next career move you might just need to rearrange your old building blocks in a new way to be able to offer value to a new employer, or even your current way of working (a career move doesn’t always have to be a change of jobs).

Our in-built need to marvel at our work and to get the most out of our capabilities drives us to learning new skills and competence. We might even be called junkies for self-actualization. This trait makes it easy for us to acquire new building blocks. We are luckily also able to, and nowadays even expected to, use the building blocks of the people in our networks.

Putting the pieces together in different combinations is another matter, though, and requires insight into what sort of competence resonates with the needs of others. Testing your competence is like market research – if you throw your value proposition to someone, who will catch it? Testing and experimenting to gain insight helps to define your professional profile. What will interest others? What gives me fulfilment? Let’s try and see.

When the going gets tough, the most adaptable to change get going

In the uncertain future of which skills will be valued and give us meaningful jobs, we need a new mindset. In a world where we can’t always make fixed long-term career and professional development plans, or might need to change them suddenly, taking a Lean approach will help us adapt.

Where are you now? Where do you want to be? Why? These fundamental and necessary career questions won’t always give enough answers to actually help you make a change. You’ll also need to know what you need to change, how to know what needs to be changed, what sort of an impact a change will have and why it has that impact.

Get moving. Experiment. Reflect. Refine. Discover the things that create value for you and others; your purpose, the way you want to change the world, and where your impact is needed. Find potential and co-creation power in your ecosystem. Focus on the things that take you where you want to go. Realise that the things you want to do or change might not even lie in your job or be your next career step, but be something and somewhere else that’s meaningful in your life. Know where your flow is, what keeps it going, and go with it. And constantly see the change you want to be.

– How does this resonate with your thoughts? Drop me a line heini@rahje.fi and we can see if I can help you make this more concrete for you.