More and more executive mobility is going beyond borders especially outside the United States. Individuals seeking a fast-track have a willingness to go where the action is in the market for top talent.
This movement, of course, is predicated on the industry sector or market vertical for any executive but the globalization of the workplace provides worldwide opportunities in any sector or vertical.
Languages fluency can be an advantage but it is not a deal-breaker that inhibits relocating to new global markets given that English is nowthe universal business communications tool. Further, cultural differences are diminishing rapidly as we converge iPhones or Androids in hand to a common communication style with one another.
The Global CV
Resume (CVs) are the most ubiquitous tool of the job search in any country. Though their emphasis in the initial search process is decreasing, eventually one needs to have something tangible to handover to human resources/personnel for their records. Certainly it is assumed that the hiring manager would want a document to review and use as a contextual format for the actual interview with a candidate.
We still erroneously assume that resume styles diverge markedly from one another in Asia, Europe and the Americas when, in fact, they are converging. The new global resume is an amalgam of the more modern USA look with the content expectations of Europe and Asia. This is because former notions of resume construction have dissolved or gone by the wayside with the advent of the internet and the digital resume.
Length of the Resume
If you are not writing an academic CV which has remained fairly traditional and consistent, then the conventional wisdom about the length of a resume is now blurred across continents. The dated rule of the one page resume lingers only in the MBA resume book, but for executives in the workplace, the length of a resume has no hard and fast rules.
The one page resume has given way to multiple pages because when read digitally, as 99% are nowadays, the length is ignored while scrolling down the screen. Thus, American resumes have come more into alignment with the typical length of European and Asian resume standards, e.g. two or more pages.
More and more, European and Asian resumes are including photographs. Of course this is problematic in the USA due to discrimination issues and potential for litigation. However, a photo is considered a given on Linkedin.com. Including a one’s linkedin.com URL in the contact section of the resume is an alternate option that can be used anywhere.
Far more personal information is offered up on European, South American and Asian resumes than in the USA. Outside the UK, it was traditionally expected that one disclose age, and marital status. This is less and less the case as recruiters are expecting information to be relevant to the position.
Personal interests and hobbies are looked for globally to gauge a well-rounded cultural as well as cultural relevancy. In the USA, personal interests are given less attention and considered more extraneous information for the most part compared to Europe.
Layout and Language
It is important to Anglicize words to British spelling not American for most of Asia, and the UK. American spelling can be acceptable in Europe and Latin America and may even please recruiters in some countries there. Not all resumes are on the same size paper, and even if read online initially, they will be printed eventually. Check the country you are targeting for paper size. For example in the UK resumes are printed on A4 paper (297mm X 210mm) while American ones are on Legal (216mm X 279mm). Be sure to set the paper size for printing on the resume you send.
Make it Memorable
Aside from the differences noted above, resumes today are astutely focused on your accomplishments, abilities, and branding. How you sell yourself is far more important than anything else. That is where you should place your attention and emphasis.
Beyond the major international corporations, mid-sized companies and start-ups are providing opportunities for up-and-coming professionals and executives to relocate globally within many business sectors.
For example, I consulted to a top financial officer at a second tier consumer brands company who was given the opportunity for his next role to move to China and run a manufacturing and distribution site as general manager. Originally he turned it down seeing it as a side-track to his quest to achieve top management status. After we discussed his career goals, he reconsidered this option as a way forward within his company.
Years ago the international assignment was a given for a rising management star or top performer. It was getting your “ticket punched” on the journey to the top echelons of the executive suite. A global career is far beyond those simple goals today as it is now a career path. Being willing to work worldwide can ensure career survival, longevity, and resiliency as well as advancement. Here are five reasons why you should consider working outside of your native or naturalized country.Everything is Global
This is not a cliché but a given. A little over ten years ago in Silicon Valley, venture capitalists were asking startups to write into their business plans a component for outsourcing parts of the business, preferably off-shore. This was a term-sheet requirement for A and B rounds of funding. What they were asking for then is now SOP (standard operating procedures) for all companies. Not just large corporations and startups, but all companies are seeking markets and manufacturing sources worldwide.
The major providers of specific products, services, and commodities are not located in one country anymore. Corn, once an indigenous crop from Latin America, is not being grown in Pakistan. Advances in genetically altered crops have enabled agri-business to expand production across climatic zones. In emerging markets, the ongoing quest for energy resources and raw materials has fueled economic growth in Africa and South America.
The value to manufacturing products closer to local markets is a driving necessity with the rising costs of fuel and transportation and shrinking margins on consumer goods. All of this adds up to all business being done beyond borders. It is exceeds the capacity of any country to generate all the executive expertise and niche talent for multinational corporations locally. And there is an advantage to companies to develop their management teams’ ability to work with a distributed employment pool.Compensation packages for management are being localized without the ex-pat benefits that made relocating executives to other countries often unfeasibly expensive. With rising salaries in emerging market a leveling out of equity pay is making global work not just feasible but expected by companies.The World is Homogenized
Language and culture used to be barriers to entry for an executive moving into emerging markets from the USA and even the EU. This is no longer the case as access to global media creates global trends in fashion, entertainment and sports, specifically football. If you are reading this article online, then Google Translator can do a reasonable job of translating into your native tongue.
The tools we use to communicate in business are online, ubiquitous and viral in nature. The adoption rate of social sites such as Facebook and Linkedin testify to that fact. There is no equivalent social site duplicating Linkedin in Australia or India because there is no need at this point.
Given the homogeneity of products across borders, expertise in manufacturing, marketing and sales is product-driven more than culture-driven, especially in fast moving consumer goods, pharmaceutical and personal care products, as well as food and beverages. Today a stroll down a street in Istanbul or Mexico City or Taiwan would show business people dressed in what is euphemistically called “western” garb.
Further, being bilingual or trilingual is very commonplace today with English commonly spoken by all business professionals. It is the USA that is now the oddity in the global business world by its generating mono-lingual professionals. That will be the challenge to the upcoming generation of US executives to compete with executives from other countries.We are all becoming more alike in the business world in terms of communications and cultural style. Be it called modernity or globalism, the economic bonds that tie us into a whole also enable a worldwide workforce and career opportunities.Growth Opportunities are not Local
The climb to the top is faster and easier in emerging markets. I have had clients who made fortunes at after the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of modern Russia. They took advantage of the economy and company-building opportunities by offering up their expertise in management, and deal making.
Glass ceilings due to gender and class hierarchies do not exist everywhere. Often a young, ambitious female executive will have more and better opportunities working outside of India where the so-called glass ceiling is higher. Companies held privately by wealthy families in many emerging markets limit the upward mobility and financial rewards of young non-family executives working in them.
Seeking work in multinational or global companies from the EU and USA often enables these young executives to rise farther than they would have otherwise in a country-based privately held company.
Countries in distress such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece are witnessing a quiet exit of executives seeking opportunities. These executives are looking towards South American and elsewhere in the EMEA depending on their country of origin and language fluency.Going where the jobs are is now a cross-border proposition. Given the average executive tenure at a company continues to shrink in time to just a few years, working in geographic location is not a life sentence anymore.A Backup Plan for Career Advancement
When a local market dries up for a product or service, an executive that has multi-country business experience can more easily return to other regions and start over even in a new sector or domain. They have a backup plan built-into their career by having had previous experience elsewhere.
In fact, any global experience is perceived as foundational, and it doesn’t have to be geographically specific but, more likely, domain specific. For example, textile, furniture, steel, and technology manufacturing have moved from the USA to Asia. Following the product off shore enables continued employment at the management level.Hiring managers and search firms do seek a candidate whose has had prior experience in a sector but geographical experience is counted as well.The Consulting Option
When an executive reaches a certain point in life, a desire to dial-back from the daily high pressure and demand of work provides incentive for them to seek more flexible options. Consulting allows them to stay active in their field while working independently and autonomously. Moreover, the successful senior executive moving into consulting also becomes highly desirable for board level positions.
The ability to consult globally certainly expands access to the marketplace as well as builds reputation locally that acts as a strategic business advantage. Thought leadership for a consultant is a given. Corporations want to hire an expert. Being perceived as a global expert enhances a consultant’s differentiation.
The above reasons are not hypothetical rather they are real scenarios from my clients’ experiences and the challenges they have faced. Their responses have been to go global, stay global and expand their horizons further.For information on how I work with professionals and executives globally to advance their careers, go to my website. When you schedule a free, no-obligation consult with me and mention the Careerzine, you will receive a complimentary copy of my new ebook, The Digital Resume.
Did the title catch your attention and draw you into the article? It did for the readers the first time this article was published for the Association of Executive Search Consultants in 2009. It is a good headline, the way yours should be written under your name on Linkedin. But, now it seems either prescient or dated since a WSJ article earlier this week featured a venture capital company that hired from a person's online social presence not their resume.The title, however, was not intended to incite but merely to announce what will all too soon be reality. In 2009 it was somewhat of an exaggeration but not by much. Let’s modify it: the resume as you and I know it will be extinct, obsolete, and dead in less than 3 years - expedited by the the economy and technology. Yes, that’s safe to say. How many times have you printed and mailed by regular post your resume to an employer or faxed your resume recently? However, there are multiple copies of your resume are online, in electronic databases, posted on job boards (as ineffective as they are who can resist them?) as well as emailed resumes to companies and colleagues who forward them by email to others. It is the evolution of technology that has created the change in our actions.The Resume as WebpageWhen does it stop being a resume and start being a webpage? It already has because it is read 99% of the time on a screen. Nobody prints it until you walk in the door and by then it has done its job, right? Terms like a one page resume andstacks of resumes are all obsolete because there are no stacks or pages, just databases and links. How can you measure the length of document that has links to multiple other sites of information (see insert below for example)?But, it is simply insufficient to have a resume remain as an online pseudo page on a screen. If that was the case, we would be immediately buying our subscription to the New York Times online, ads and all – with no more newsprint on our fingers. It is obviously not such a simple trade off. Resumes, like many products and services that the Internet has touched in the past 20 years, are being transformed by the inherent nature of the technology. Marshall McLuhan was right. "The medium is the message" is a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. The phrase was introduced in his most widely known book, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964. McLuhan proposes that mediaitself, not the content it carries, should be the focus of study. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role not only by the content delivered over the medium, but also by the characteristics of the medium itself.
Wikipedia, 2009In the Web 1.0 days the Internet was populated with what was called euphemistically “brochureware" and "shopping carts,” meaning datasheets, brochures, and catalogs. The Web 2.0 Internet, due to enhanced tools and delivery capability, has enabled multiple kinds of content modalities. On a Web 2.0 website, you may watch a video, listen to a podcast, move through a set of slides, download a PDF file, fill out a form, take a poll, add a comment, share in a chat, add a friend, send a text message and retweet. Can a resume remain for long a static script of line after line of text in this environment? What are the implications to your job search, and to managing your career? The resume, as we knew it, is functionally obsolete online. Web 2.0 technology demands that we shift from our traditional preconceptions of what a resume should look like, and how it should be accessed. This is no trivial trend for hiring on the fringes. Given the global competition for work and the commoditization of talent at all levels, how well you use Web 2.0 tools to brand and differentiate will give you the edge. Here are some initial ideas and areas to help you to step out of the resume box.VisualcvIf you want to see the Web 2.0 replacement of the resume, just visit www.visualcv.com . Interestingly, the term curriculum vitae or CV for short means a written account of one’s life. A resume is a condensed presentation from the French past participle, “résumé”, to summarize. Visualcv doesn’t expect a summary of your abilities, and accomplishments but rather a well- branded elaboration multimedia expansion of them. It allows you to build your self-presentation using video, audio, graphs and charts, slides, photos, illustrations, articles, white papers, and work samples. In addition, you can add logos of your current and former employers, links to blogs, and relevant websites, testimonials and endorsements. Linkedin.com et alThis now 9 year old granddaddy of the online resume website, has slowly but surely seen the light and moved to expand your opportunity to present a full-blown professional profile. With the addition of the Applications feature late fall of 2008, Linkedin expanded member Profile pages to encompass a breath and depth of someone’s abilities and accomplishments beyond its initial fill-in the blanks modules. Overnight, you could upload slides and presentations through Slideshare and Google Presentations. You can now link Google Docs to your Profile that enables white papers, work examples, case studies, and articles to be displayed. Amazon book lists lets you display your knowledge and acumen through sharing all the great books you have read. Another Applications feature is the blog links to Wordpress and Typepad. I already had a blog and a newsletter on the Typepad platform, thus my blog posts and articles were easily linked to my Profile with one mouse click. Displaying knowledge of your industry, marketplace, and business by blogging about it is a natural extension and enhancement to your professional profile. The sum total of all these Applications is that they transform Linkedin’s original fill-in-the-blank, static, linear Profile cum resume into an embellished, expanded and elaborated portrait providing a wealth of information and deeper insights into a professional. All of the above applies to the other social networking sites with variations on the theme. Be it Facebook Pages, Viadeo, Ecademy, Xing or Orkut, any social networking site expects you to present a profile of yourself to the world. Wherever you have the opportunity to communicate, demonstrate, share and connect online, you are putting your persona and professionalism on display. It is the new resume. It is at your peril that you avoid doing this because recruiters, hiring managers and search firms are seeking talent in those sites. You can be selective, discriminating such as building visibility on sites such as Ivy Exec or BlueSteps but you still have to show up. Zoominfo.comZoominfo should be separated out for two reasons. One, recruiters seem to love to peruse it as they expect to uncover a more candid expose of a person. Two, you are on it already so you have no choice but to manage your professional presentation on the site. Zoominfo uses the same type of software as CardScan that scans information off a business card and reads it into a contact management system like Outlook. Zoominfo scans the Internet and scrapes off information about people and builds profiles about them on its website. You are already on Zoominfo, if you have had any length of time on the planet functioning as an adult. Zoominfo is indiscriminate. It scrapes anything with your name attached to it: SEC filings, company bios, keynote addresses, church bulletins, little league team rosters, the green couch you sold on Craigslist…anything and everything. You could find a motley collection of the flotsam and jetsam of your life or nothing much of anything. One professional found that her boss had usurped her profile, or Zoominfo had miss-attributed all her achievements. Further, your profile, much like a mangled credit report on Experian, could have information about multiple people with the same name. Zoominfo is the malapropos vitae with unintended consequences. But you can rectify that by skillful editing, and inserting your own branded content. Blogs: Typepad, Blogger, WordPressBlog platforms are ideal to create, not just a blog, but a vitae that is even more personalized, interesting and even intimate. Unlike, Visualcv and the social networks that provide the look and feel, you create the color scheme, the look and the layout on a blog. This is your opportunity to truly express your personality, style, and branded image completely. There is no conforming to the requirements of any service provider. No boxes to fill in or an online genie to tell you that your profile is only 50% complete.You can stretch beyond the social networking profiles, the multimodal resume sites and fully present a professional portfolio of yourself using a blog platform. Now that’s awesome and really scary. It implies that you are clear on your brand, your target market and value proposition and are able to articulate in color, sound, video, design, word, and layout who you are. If you need help doing this, get help. But the more hands-on you are with the process, the more authentic will be the outcome.Typepad in fact gives its subscribers a tutorial on how to turn a blog into a resume page. Wordpress, an open source application, is so versatile that many people are using it to build entire websites. The advantages of these platforms are their low cost to build and maintain, their high Google ranking, and the facility of updating the site content without learning HTML.Of course blogs are used for writing posts that build your participation in the community of your peers, and business sector. Each blog post is an active, dynamic form of vitae building. Every entry serves to better demonstrate, and draw attention to your credentials, knowledge and expertise than the passive data on a resume. It is one thing to say that you are highly strategic and analytical on your resume even with a past example, but to actually demonstrate those skills in the blog that you write is by far the better route.The Resume is not Dead it is Simply TransfiguredThis trend to multi-modal, multimedia, multi-platform online elaboration and expansion of your professional self will only continue to grow while ensuring the death knell of the resume. As search firms, recruiters, and employers use ever more thorough, and granular searches online to uncover the top candidates and stars they seek, they will look well beyond a simple bland resume format. Technologists will continue to develop more innovative tools and amazing technologies, and you know the saying, “If they build it, we will find a way to apply it.” Finally, your competition will adopt and implement all these tools and techniques and you will have no choice but to keep up. But why not be ahead of the curve? Consider Malcolm Gladwell’s premise in the Tipping Point, that once a critical mass is reached, a direction becomes inevitable. So it will go with the resume now. In the spirit of the times, I have just published a little e-book called, The Digital Resume. I have watched too many good resumes go bad because their layout is so last century and their look is incompatible to viewing on a screen. You will see with specific directions and tips, how to make a resume be digital with fonts that render well online, proper margins, line spacing and the psychology of reading on a screen. Resumes require the same useability and user interface as a retail site like Macy's or Home Depot. While your resume still breathes life, then it best be digital.
I just heard from, Scott, a client who wanted more than anything to ski everyday all winter long. He left before the last crash burst to follow his passion. An banking executive by trade, he made the big jump to a large, high-profile Canadian ski resort as a financial consultant in order to satisfy his passion for the slopes. He reasoned that going to a dead-end, boring job that would earn a small living as a worthwhile trade-off for a great skiing opportunity. He is now the IT manager, supervising 2 reports, and managing a whole system upgrade with new software installations to manage ski-lift ticketing and lift operations. It turned out to be the best of all worlds as he loves his job, and is well-paid and pursues his passion.
Why is it that some executives land a job within record time while others seem to linger in a search limbo, languishing without really looking? Yes, there are obvious external factors that impact the length of an executive job search: age discrimination, requirements of an industry, heavily impacted functions and a few regions in deep recession. However, external factors do not account for everyone in search limbo.
From what I have seen, the degree of passion and engagement a professional helps to determine the ease and ability to be out there and involved in that business and to be known and connected. They are just driven to do it and will continue to turn over rocks, go down paths and do whatever it takes to be in the game no matter how rusty or inept at networking they are.
Passion can be the crucial ingredient to future success when one is in a transition phase between employment, consulting engagements or startup opportunities. Passion generates the motivation and drive to act and to do with the requisite intensity and persistence in the face of adversity, obstacles and daily doses of bad news reports. Certainly money is a key motivator, but I have seen people leave substantial incomes because they were simply miserable going into work every day. Organizations change over time, new management teams are formed that may not be compatible.
Not too long ago, two founders of a nearly bankrupt startup folded the company and walked away rather than accept a buy-out offer tendered by a major corporation in the same space that would have ensured the company’s continuation and success. They were not willing to commit staying at the helm of what would be a corporate division for an additional two years to make the deal go. Without any real passion, these newly minted top-tier MBAs were driven by their passion.
Haven’t you seen people more consumed by their philanthropic work than their current position? That they pursue the former with more zeal than the latter can be a guidepost to other possible futures. They frequently come to realize that it is possible to make the avocation into the main career passion. Certainly, it is often too easy to be discouraged and dissuaded from making that kind of transition because passions seem to present themselves as financial and career risks. Sometimes it is not an obvious route to monetize a passion but we tend to foreclose options by pre-deciding against them.
I had a client with a passion for gourmet food, cooking, and great restaurants. Fortunately she lived in San Francisco so they all were in abundance. After years of working in public relations in consumer brands, she segued into the hospitality industry. She started with small steps: writing articles, attending food events to network and doing some public relations pro bono work for a small ethnic restaurant in to promote their unique cuisine. She is now with an executive in a San Francisco public relations firm in their food vertical.
Yes, there are trade-offs to consider, priorities to rearrange and terms to come to. Using values checklists are really helpful in developing clarity on what’s important in your life. Many of my conversations with executives revolve about how to sort through their values, career criteria and options to put meaning, and passion back into their work lives.
My clients have reported in retrospect, that the hardest step was the first one.It takes courage to quit, relocate, or to simplify life and finances to enable the pursuit of a passion. However, when past that first roadblock, the rest of the journey became an open highway of delight and adventure leading them to lives and experiences they had always dreamed about. And, they are living out their passions.
"For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me." ~ William Stafford, 1914-1993
As the page turns a year and we enter the year of the dragon, it is once again time to make the obligatory New Year’s resolutions that typically fall by the wayside, forgotten, by mid-year. After the spectacularly terrible end of a less than illustrious decade, we forge ahead into the second decade. Though the end of the Mayan calendar this year predicts the end of the world, still, we might benefit from looking farther out to make career plans and set success goals just in case.
I often ask clients initially where they see their career ten years from today in terms of position, level, achievements and goals reached. Some have an answer but with no clear strategy or goals in place to get there. Many haven’t vetted their plans. Others are simply not looking that far ahead.
The recurring comments from executives at all levels facing the prospect of a career transition in the current economy is a frustration or near bewilderment with the process. The old routes to new opportunities have dried up or don’t function as before. They may have relied on mentors, colleagues, search firms, and college recruiters during better times. Many now rely on pursuing and applying to job postings – if they can find them- rather than executing a strategic career transition plan.Time to Reflect, Ironically
When career paths are determined by the opportunities offered up, there is never the opportunity to carve out our own trajectory. The ironic benefit of an average executive search taking 6 months or much longer is that there now ample time and incentive to determine a career plan and act on it. Stepping back from a ten year career plan to gain perspective, we can determine the interim moves and immediate initiatives needed to arrive at that destination.
However, people tend not factor in the future nor do they take the long view of events, things and changes that affect even the best career transition plan over time. We don’t pay attention, preferring the known to the new and different. Often we dismiss or categorize change into pre-existing mental buckets becoming remarkably blind to unintended consequences that will impact our career and business success.
There are three key areas of change that have consistently affected how we do business and career success: new innovations, population demographics, and global or regional circumstances. The first area seems to continually gain momentum without the comfort of our acclimation. While the second is more predictable, it seems to be most ignored (except by consumer marketers) for career opportunity cost. Finally, the last tends to blindside us the more we immerse ourselves in the habitual, the norm, and the conventional.
Given the access to information and analytical tools we have at our disposal, it is no longer impossible for the layman to be a futurist. Predictions are now mainstream and widespread but predictions are nothing if not acted on. Taking the long view on those areas of change enables us to see the impact on our industry, profession and livelihood. Technology Innovations
The Huffington Post listed 12 technologies that became obsolete last decade that did a survey on the tools and technologies that are now obsolete Yellow Pages, encyclopedias, CDs, land lines, phone calls, newspaper classifieds, hand written letters, dial-up Internet, film, wires, catalogs, and dictionaries. We will probably see printed books, and broadcast television follow shortly. Where will the printed book be at the end of this decade now that tablets have taken hold? It is hard to believe that in ten short years we have seen entire industries upended, transformed or disappear.
Every industry has been touched by technological innovation in the past 20 years from manufacturing to services. How, when and where we conduct business and make career transitions have been dramatically changed by new technologies. Out-sourcing, off-shoring, distributed teams were not mainstream resource management tools even ten years ago. At the same time resume distribution has moved from post, to fax, email and now to websites and social networks.
Check out my new e-book, The Digital Resume.
How will upcoming technologies impact how you do business and manage your career? In 2003 when Linkedin.com was founded, most people ignored and even actively avoided providing much public information about them online. Now whole industries have sprung up helping people and organizations to leverage their brand visibility through social networks and the Internet.
I regularly build professional websites
(click to see example) for my clients as part of their branding and self-marketing initiatives. This would have been unheard of a few years ago because the high cost and complexities of web technology and tools limited website development to technology professionals and businesses. Today it is both affordable and a competitive advantage
Taking the long view on the bleeding edge of innovation, what can you see coming in terms of new technologies and innovations in your industry or sector that you can leverage to have first mover advantage? How can you take optimum advantage of all the social media and social networking tools to build your career reputation, and gain greater visibility over others competing for the same hearts and minds as you are? Generational Change
Strauss and Howe wrote a book in 1991 called Generations: The History of American’s Future 1584 to 2069. They identified a recurring pattern of four personality behavior styles each style consistent to one generational cohort. These behavioral types have repeated since the founding fathers up to present day. Their generational descriptions are stunningly accurate in hindsight and eerily prophetic in foresight.
Strauss and Howe’s trustworthy profiles of Gen Y (30 and 40 year olds) have proactively motivated Human Resource departments and consumer marketers to scramble to understand and respond to the upcoming under-thirty cohort, the Millennials.
How can you leverage market and business opportunities inherent in capturing the hearts and minds of upcoming generational cohorts? For example, how do we work with, manage, or work for a generation that would prefer texting over a phone call? How will this generation impact all our career choices and changes? We tend to turn a blind eye on the generational changes happening before us until they gain an unyielding power or become a force to be reckoned with. Does that leverage the long view? Geo-Economical Change
“The start of a new year is a chance to plan ahead before history changes everything.”
N. Gibbs, Time Magazine, January, 2010
Life happens while we try to keep up. We are most blind-sided with the big picture. On a geo-economical level, often the long-view is blithely ignored. We think that some day we will deal with a 10-point earthquake near a major metropolitan area or the final drop of oil pumped from all known oil fields or a market collapse threatening the balance of global economic systems ….but not today. Then tornadoes and a tsunami from hell happens and obliterates entire geographic regions leaving a trail of tragedy.Many have resisted, resented or have been overwhelmed by the the relentless drive of economic globalization. Jobs have moved across borders and continents. We work with teams distributed to the ends of the earth and are challenged by the cultural and communications gaps that arise.Others have floated above it all and taken advantage of this destiny-altering change. The Atlantic magazine published an article entitled, The Rise of the New Global Elite (click to read it). The advent of the borderless executive has arrived. I have a client, for example, who was born in India, educated at a top US business school, and now works in France for a UK company.
How can we step back to plan our careers and lives with a response to a long view that is appears at first too far off to see or comes at us like a fire hose ? We can factor in the unexpected in contingency plans, alternative options, and course-correcting alternatives. No one road leads to a given career goal so we should plan for multiple routes. The Long View
Obsolescence is built into all the above scenarios on both a functional and personal level. Innovative technologies change industries. Their products and services become commoditized or non-competitive. Likewise, our attitudes and views become crystallized into a litany of repetitive assumptions and beliefs about employment, careers, and doing business that are no longer applicable or relevant.
The antidote is simple: a willingness to be open to change while making a good effort to see it coming. Willingness is the key to accommodating change. When life comes at us too fast, we can opt to not close down to the inherent possibilities when taking the long view.
Have a great year!