It wasn’t too long ago that careers and career planning were fairly straightforward. You became interested in an occupation (say you wanted to become an engineer or a lawyer) and then you worked backwards to attain the goal. In other words, by envisioning yourself in the chosen field, you did research and read up on the industry, perhaps talked to someone in the field, figured out the training and college requirements, and then determined how to obtain your goal of completing the necessary education to finally enter your chosen field. Everything was predictable and if you navigated the shoals of college and successfully graduated, chances were good that you could expect to enter the workforce as a freshly minted engineer or lawyer.
Today (meaning within the past 3-5 years) things have become much less straightforward. We live in an age of increasing uncertainty. Whole industries are disappearing and being replaced by machines. In order to survive and thrive in today’s “unpredictable economy” today’s knowledge workers need to rethink their professions, the economy, and the future. To prepare themselves, they need to operate like entrepreneurs. They need to be willing to retrain and retool for the digital workforce, to take risks, to chart their future and to turn their thoughts into tangible outcomes, while also being willing to work harder than the next person.
We’re entering the Startup Economy in which everyone will eventually have to think, act, and ultimately become like an entrepreneur to stay competitive and relevant. Digital technologies, including smart machines, Internet of Things, cognitive computing, and rapid increases in artificial intelligence are steadily making whole industries obsolete. The impacts of this rapid technological expansion is going to be felt on jobs in profound ways.
Those who expect to survive and thrive in the “Startup Economy” are people who are prepared for the possibility that their present job, profession, career path will be disrupted to some degree. They are taking initiatives to boot up their training and develop new skills (such as learning to code or how to analyze Big Data).
The Startup Economy is here to stay and will be the primary pipeline for innovation, creativity, and commerce in the months and years ahead. Those with the skills, initiative, and desire to succeed in this new economy will do so, while the rest will get left behind.
SMEAM Global is an emerging market assistance company that dedicates its resources to helping startups and new businesses grow through innovation. We exploit technology and digital business tools for you to achieve greater advantage in the rising world of technology and IT.