Choosing a career is normally a difficult task. There are many variables (and opinions) to take into account. However, after making your choice, it’s time of tucking the sleeves and build on knowledge (and competence).

The world and careers are changing constantly, with new emerging professions, and others simply disappearing. One of the few things that has not changed is the certainty that new changes will happen.

The same way it happens to the product life cycle (as shown above) – which goes through various stages from conception to obsolescence – we have a similar situation with professional careers.

With training (courses, self-learning, etc..) professionals (project manager, for example) can shape themselves up according to market demands. Postgraduate courses and certifications attest to their qualifications and ability needed to perform their professional duties.

Now, analyzing the ‘Career Life Cycle” and comparing it to what happens to products in general, we have:

  • Initially, an ability (or competence) can be considered a ‘plus’ in the market;
  • At a later time, this ability could become essential and compulsory (which may have become a ‘commodity’ and its lack might be an impediment to following a particular career);
  • Later, in a not too distant future, may become a ‘desirable’ competence that with a little luck, will be used as tiebreakers in a recruiting process;
  • And finally, can become a competence / ability not necessary, that is no longer applied to the new context of the corporate environment.

So how do handle this situation? How to ensure that your ‘Career Life Cycle’ will maintain a growth trend or at least have ensured stability (avoiding the decline)?

As it happens with many products, along the time is necessary to make changes and improvements to meet new market demands. The products end up getting new shapes, colors or features. In addition, new marketing campaigns and positioning strategies are also implemented.

And the professional person? That, even though not exactly a product, also need to remain attractive for the labor market. With that purpose, he (or she) will need:

  • Make use of experience acquired along the years;
  • Observe the trends (and demands) of the market;
  • Establish professional development strategies;
  • Keep active and updated its network of professional contacts.

Giovani Faria

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