It can be hard for many people who feel the ground underneath them shifting. The industrial age is not coming back and the information age has been relentlessly changing how we live, work and connect. If you are not used to change, then life as you know it can be quite overwhelming. The job you are depending on is temporary. The things you are used to doing today may not be so important in a few months.
So, how do you design and live your life in a way that allows you to move through the inevitable change that is hitting everyone at varying levels? Here are a few strategies in no particular order that I consider of utmost importance to handle change:
- Make it about your ability not your circumstances. What you are doing today needs to be considered part of your overall skill building. You may have landed your job or ended up in in your market because of luck, inheritance or desperation. However, assume that your market will change dramatically. Keep building and focusing on skills that are transferrable and durable.
- Value your knowledge not your function. Doing a job well for someone may be good for today and for a specific function. That is not the end goal. Stop thinking merely about function and focus instead on knowledge. The new economy compensates those that know something valuable that others do not. It’s not about what you do. It’s about what you know.
- Build real relationships. It’s too easy to cordon yourself off behind a screen. Your relationships may start online, but in the end, you have to have some flesh and blood interactions with people and make them count. Building relationships means an exchange in value. Think about how you can become valuable to others and generously provide value. Great relationships thrive off of a consistent exchange of value between two people. Build these kind of relationships and when things change, then you will have your needs met when you are in need and be of service to those that undergo change.
- Never stop growing. College was not the end of your education. It was the beginning. If you don’t have knowledge today, you are in a dangerous position. When the world passes by your old knowledge then you will become exposed. This can be averted if you are continually growing by meeting people that know more than you and continually reading and studying on topics that are broad and in depth. A growth mindset keeps you relevant.
You can’t control what is happening out there. You can control your choices with your time and attention and put them in places that will keep you valuable and relevant as the world changes around you.
Depending on how you embrace or fight change, the opportunities that come your way can be large and remarkable or missed altogether.
If you made these adjustments in your approach to your work and life, what do you think would happen?