I wrote this as a blog post back in January, when bush fires were blazing, Covid-19 didn’t yet have a name, and I was recently returned to Australia from a holiday in Bali. It feels like a whole year of years has passed since then.
I could not have known then the sheer bravery I would witness as I and the people around me navigated their careers through the global health and economic pandemic that has gripped 2020. I could not have known in January that I was steeling myself, and my career for years, with this call to arms. I have been humbled by the bravery and empathy I have been witness to and a recipient of.
So I share this here, for you. To honour your bravery and remind us all that we have a hand to play in how our career for years rolls out. 2020 has been hard, you are tired, I am tired too. I hope you find some nostalgia and inspiration in the following paragraphs. I hope you continue bravely.
If the common commentary around the future of work is anything to go by, we know human connection is among the top skills the labour market demands. In the 80s and 90s, work of the hands was superseded by work of the head, hurried along by automisation and technological developments.
Now technological advances are happening at an unprecedented pace, and they won’t be slowing down. This is creating a new employment commodity, work of the heart. #AHRI #Deloitte
The automisation of tasks has made way for the metrics of contribution, creativity, and connection. All of which require bravery to truly step into, and empathy to step into them well. #BreneBrown
Qualifications (and a great interview) get you the job; contribution, creativity and connection keep you there. Careering bravely will help your career as much as any certification.
We know leadership isn’t about being the biggest voice in a room, it is about enabling your team to become greater than the sum of its parts. You can lead no matter what your title is, but you cannot do it well without heart, without bravery, and without empathy.
Empathy lets you step into someone else’s shoes, it is like a time machine, taking you back and forward in time as you imagine how others may be feeling as they experience life, a meeting, a deadline, a hard, hard lesson.
We can agree that these qualities are missing in the workplace, because we can all recall more moments when they were absent than when they were present. (Although that tide is turning) And we also can agree that when they were present, we thrived.
It takes bravery to be confident that your skill set will evolve with the changing demands of work. It does not mean being immune from redundancy, or downsizing, from upskilling or rebranding. It evokes empathy within you towards your colleagues and generates insightful perspective of what you can do to bring value to those around you, to the project, to the goal.
Careering bravely creates a connection between your career and yourself, so you can pack it up and carry it with you from role to role. It is about conquering hearts and minds and KPIs while you slay in your chosen arena. Fostering your network, uncovering and developing your talents with purpose. A bit of employment and labour market savviness helps here for channeling those talents and developments in a direction prospective employers will see value in. #callacoach
Careering bravely is not delaying action until the path is already chartered, it is learning to climb while you rise, adjusting course when a sure thing falls through, and never being too smart, too successful, or too scared to grow. It is how you have your career for years. Go bravely.
Cover image: Shutterstock
This article first appeared on LinkedIn on 31 August 2020.
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