The business landscape is shifting so rapidly that more employees with “traditional” careers need to be employing the skills that make entrepreneurs and small business owners successful. As the existence of many linear career paths fade into the distance, career planning has become a necessity in today’s job market and needs to be supported throughout the lifespan of a career and into retirement. But how does one develop a career plan in such a dynamic environment?

As employers are starting to scale up and down quickly and work is becoming more project based (vs. role based), the worker now needs to engage in more mindful and proactive career planning. We now find ourselves in a team based fluid matrix model, where the structure is based less on hierarchy and defined roles, and more on the work that needs to be done.  The expectation today is that as a worker, you are responsible for navigating your own career plan.

We all need to operate as our own small business – “Company of Me” – bringing a dynamic, proactive, adaptable approach to work.  Skills and strategies that were once the domain of entrepreneurs and small business owners are now a highly valued part of job search and career strategy, even for employees in established organizations.

These 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
  • Multitasking
  • 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.  They must find an unmet need in the market or a unique way to deliver a service and know how their unique set of skills & experience can be of value for an employer. In addition, the essential skills vital to effectively work within inter-disciplinary teams and across functional areas is highly valued. These include adaptability, collaboration, client management, integrity, and time and work prioritization.

So how can you develop and implement more of these skills and strategies in your current role or job search? One starting point is to begin increasing your visibility both inside and outside the company. This could include writing an article for the newsletter or company blog or sharing relevant articles on LinkedIn and Twitter. You could also start bolstering your network now and attend regular industry association events.  How about creating your own personal development plan to keep your skills sharp (like taking a part time course or volunteering in an area you are interested in) or starting an accomplishment portfolio?

The future of work is full of uncertainty but taking control and putting yourself in the driver’s seat as CEO Of your “Company of Me” will put you in a position of strength and confidence to ride the shifting landscape of work successfully.