Did you know this?

Challenges and Opportunities are Abundant

Men in their thirties are earning less than their fathers earned at the same age. That’s the disheartening news I read in the LA Times (Sat. May 26th, 2007) that cited an ongoing study called the Economic Mobility Project.

Opportunity for advancement and increased income would appear to abound in this time of innovation and new business development. However, earnings figures show that earnings opportunities for young men are slow to develop upwards due to competition with healthy baby boomers and savvy businesswomen. What does this mean for young men (and frankly, women too)?

Where there is challenge, there is opportunity. You can sharpen your awareness for opportunity and find the efficiency gaps in your work place. Leverage your strengths maybe they include creativity, technological savvy and a willingness to learn. Identify them and then let your boss know you’re ready for more responsibility by generating good ideas to solve problems that others are letting slide. If you are already doing this and aren’t getting noticed or are being skipped over, start looking for new opportunities at another company or organization.

Granted, these are good tips for anyone seeking to develop their career path, yet shifting your thinking from scarcity to abundance not only changes your attitude, it changes how others respond to you, too.

Career Development Tips

— Solve problems that are interesting to you – tap into your creativity.

  • Leverage your comfort with technology. Use technology to streamline processes, bring people together for industry education, and connect seemingly disparate departments together to create a new synergy.
  • Seek out professional organizations to meet others and attend conferences or seminars to stay abreast of innovation in your field (it’s likely that you’ll hear of job openings too!).
  • Read The Wall Street Journal and other periodicals to broaden your knowledge base. This will give you the wherewithal to connect with others about trends that may impact your area of work.
  • Look for the story behind the story – think about how a product or piece of information reached you who made this happen, what did it take for this to reach you? Your curiosity will lead you to new questions that can “unearth” other opportunities of which you may not have awareness.

The Big Picture

Regardless of age, career satisfaction affects every part of your life. Take time to reflect upon your life and career satisfaction levels regularly. What’s working and what isn’t? Staying aware of your satisfaction levels can help you determine when you need to learn new things and/or meet new people.

In addition, thoughtful analysis and a bit of research can make necessary actions obvious — although not always easy. Then it’s time for action. Too much thought and not enough action can result in burn out and frustration. Look for ways that your actions can improve your outcomes (you may be surprised at how effective this technique is). Intelligent effort that produces results makes everyone feel more competent.

There’s no doubt about it — the work world we live in is more demanding than ever. It gives everyone greater opportunity to flex their creative muscles. And these fast-paced, information rich times put more responsibility on all of us to manage our lives, our careers, and our sense of fun; we have to create our own vision of what we want life to be.