Creative LeadershipCreativity

Changing Careers In A Tough Job Market

Finding your dream job is always challenging, but even when it’s really tough, a volatile economy can actually be the best time to change careers. When researching my book, “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do,”  I discovered that finding your purpose – what you were born to do with your life – is the single most important key to finding the career you’ve always dreamed about.  In today’s distracted and cluttered culture, it’s far too easy to become average at many things. But to cut through and get noticed today, start thinking about the “niche.” In other words – Where can I excel?  Where can I potentially be the best in the world?

In the 50’s and 60’s there were only a handful of major, national magazines like Life and Look. But today, there are literally thousands of niche magazines catering to ever smaller, more specialized audiences. There are so many niches in the music industry that the producers of the Grammy Awards were harshly criticized recently when they cut the number of categories by more than thirty.

Today, corporations and their marketing teams understand that the key to connecting with customers is to be the best in the world at a very small niche. Even most giants of American business like Apple, Starbucks, and Walt Disney Studios, began serving a very small, focused market.  So what does niche marketing have to do with changing careers? Everything. Accurate statistics are hard to come by, but many believe the average person will move from seven to thirteen different companies during their working life. Today, it’s rare that someone actually retires from the same career they began. To a certain extent, those statistics reflect the reality of changing technology and it’s impact on the marketplace.

But they also reflect the incredible distraction we face on a daily basis. Technology has made it far easier to tryout multiple jobs, communicate with more potential employers, and experience a wider range of opportunities. But it’s also created a generation of men and women who are average at many things, rather than being extraordinary at one big thing.

I suggest that it’s time to focus.  The truth is, more and more studies are confirming that the only thing multi-tasking does is allow us to do many things badly. We may have many interests, but when it comes to our career, perhaps it’s time to become the best in the world at one big thing.

It’s not changing careers that’s the problem today. It’s being simply mediocre at so many things.

Re-discover that focus. Uncover your one big thing. Only then will you be able to change careers with confidence.

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  1. I struggle with this a lot. I find it hard being a twenty something with a lot of talents and gifts but not knowing where to funnel them and taking that next step. I dont want to waste my life….

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