The New Black In Career Management
Heed this critical lesson from Johann, a young truffle farmer from Provence, if you are to safe-guard your career.
Ignore it at your peril. Embrace it and thrive.
Johann was energised:
“I quit banking to run my 90 year old grandfather’s farm. I am his sole heir, and needed to get involved. It was pretty run down. Some olive trees and vines. I realised my only route to survival was to diversify – to add new revenue streams and offerings that could cater to a wider range of customer, and provide protection from seasonal factors beyond our control.
I’ve planted more olives, I have a ‘sponsor an olive tree’ program underway. I’ve started farming truffles, we’ve created a ‘truffle hunting’ tourist activity, we have bees for honey, we offer wine crushing experiences, and charge a fee for tourists to pick grapes and olives. We’ll also start fishing tours of the lake and river. It’s the only way we keep up with change, and leverage what this place has to offer.”
I listened in awe. Johann’s approach was so wise. And it struck me that it is exactly what anyone in business today needs to be doing if their careers are to thrive.
DIVERSIFY YOUR SKILL SET – OR SOON PERISH ON THE SCRAPHEAP OF HAS-BEENS.
Harsh, but true. Certainly in my industry, and I bet, in yours too. Businesses are changing so quickly it’s simply almost impossible to keep up.
What does this fast-morphing world mean for your career?
You got it: Diversify that skill set.
I’m not suggesting a revolution. Stay calm.
What I am saying is this: what got you here won’t get you there.
You need to keep evolving your knowledge, capability, value proposition. One step at a time. Incrementally. That will do it.
Just as Johann is continually reading his market, and innovating to add spice to his offer and revenue streams, so must you.
DO THIS NOW:
- Become addicted to learning. Lap it up. Search it out.
- Read, read, and read. Books, magazines, online, offline, industry trade press, on trends. Everything you can.
- Learn to code – just a little.
- Stay close to technology innovations (talk to teenagers here – they’ll tell you about stuff I promise you, you have no idea about).
- Keep a robust point-of-view alive about the future – about your role, your customers’ challenges, opportunities for your business. I don’t care what it’s about, so long it involves the future, and how you can add value in that future.
Remember – there’s no growth in your comfort zone. Get uncomfortable. Step boldly into new learning. Keep a constant eye firmly on the radar, spotting gaps and opportunities to evolve, one step at a time, consistently.
By just having that attitude, you’ll already be one step ahead. Get serious and take action – now. Diversification will keep that farm in Provence relevant and robust. It will do the same for your career.
And that’s a promise.