The business landscape has been shifting over the years and, as a result, more employees with “traditional” careers need to be employing the skills that allow small business owners to be successful. That is, workers need to use the same skills and tactics that entrepreneurs and small business owners use to build and enhance their businesses to build and enhance their careers.
In many companies, work is becoming more project-based, rather than role-based, and employees find themselves in a team-based model where the structure is based less on hierarchy and more on the work that needs to be done. Which means that our career paths are more fluid than ever—and we’re expected to navigate those paths ourselves.
We all need to operate as our own small business – “Company of Me” – bringing a dynamic, proactive and adaptable approach to work. Skills and strategies that were once the domain of entrepreneurs and small business owners are now an integral part of job search and career strategy.
These skills include:
- Self-Marketing and Promotion
- Personal Branding & Thought Leadership development
- Personal Financial Planning and Budgeting
- Staying relevant and updating skills on a continuous basis
- Following key industry trends and challenges
- Being agile and opportunity-focused in the face of change
- Clearly understanding one’s key strengths and accomplishments
- Business development and persuasion strategies
- Self-care, prioritization of family, health and work
As you can see, like a successful business owner, the job seeker and career planner needs to be outward and customer focused. The customer in this case is the organization—either the organization where you currently work or the one you want to work for. Today’s career planner must find an unmet need in the market or a unique way to deliver a service. They must also know how their unique set of skills & experience can be of value for an employer.
So how can you develop and implement these skills and strategies in your current role or job search? Create your own personal development plan to keep your skills sharp. Your plan can include goals like taking a part-time course or volunteering in an area you’re interested in. That way, you can gain the skills and experience you need to pursue your chosen path.
You can also begin increasing your visibility both inside and outside the company. You could write an article for the company newsletter or blog or share relevant articles and links on LinkedIn and Twitter. Don’t forget to attend industry or company events and use every opportunity for networking.
Many companies and even entire industries have changed so much in recent years that the future of our careers can be uncertain, but by taking control you can accomplish your goals. As the CEO of your “Company of Me,” you can take your career where you want it to go.