Five Reflections on Change for Summer 2024

24 June 2024

"We have never had such hot summers!" my mum (who clearly does not live in the UK) exclaimed over the phone the other day. She carried on reminiscing over the cooler Junes of my childhood. Her words echoed a global sentiment as scorching temperatures are gripping our planet, from the bustling streets of India through the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj in Saudi Arabia, to the historic cities of Europe. But it's not just the mercury rising; the world seems to be at a boiling point of change.

While we sweat through a climate crisis, we are also seeing that economies worldwide are on a rollercoaster ride, veering from populist agendas of spending to the inevitable period of subsequent retrenchment, creating uncertainty in the workplace.

As Marcus Aurelius says: “Observe always that everything is the result of change, and get used to thinking that there is nothing Nature loves so well as to change existing forms and make new ones like them”.

Competing with the environmental, economic and political changes are the major sporting events of this summer – Euro 2024, Wimbledon, the Paris Summer Olympics and while you might be inclined to sit still and observe, get going by taking stock and making strategic plans for your next career move. 

Here are my reflections for Summer of 2024 to help you refresh and relaunch your career:    

Map Your Career Landscape: Take a look at the emerging trends shaping your industry, consider the longer-term effects of AI and the possibility of significant changes to basic costs such as energy. Challenge your own underlying beliefs. The Global Alumni Engagement team run a series of in-person and online webinars focused on trends and challenges facing various industries, click here to take a look at upcoming events. Assess how changes in new technologies, the regulations around ESG, and the behaviour of Gen Z consumers will open new opportunities that play to your strengths, experience and qualifications. To get started you can log into the  Managing Your Career online course, available to all WBS Alumni, and explore the “Mapping Your Career Landscape” chapter.

Become the Most Versatile Player (MVP) – just like on the football pitch, every organisation needs an MVP. What are the key skills required today? Consider how you can upskill across in-demand domains like project management, data analytics, or AI to mention a few. Explore the WBS menu of executive courses like “Leadership for a Complex World” and “Behavioural Science in Practice”.  In addition to this, through the Spotlight profiling tool , you can also explore your character strengths, your preferences for viewing the world and how you can change these preferences in order to adapt and flex to changes.

Create, Maintain and Recreate a Winning Support Team: Every winner has a reliable support team around them. Make sure you surround yourself with the right mentors, either through the WBS Global Mentoring Programme or through your other contacts. Get advice from peers and fellow alumni. Recently I have worked with an alum who said that their upcoming promotion was due to the great advice and guidance they’d received from their mentor. Remember it is not about how many people are in your winning team or even about keeping the same team (take a look at Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, after Bayern Munich and Barcelona). These are critical individuals who will provide you with honest and timely feedback, and help you navigate the challenges of changing careers. 

Master Your Curiosity: Change will create novel opportunities previously unthinkable. Remain curious and try out roles or test industries you have not considered before.  Search for new projects within your existing employment or venture into freelance work. If you are about to launch your career, work shadowing is a great way to test the waters of a potential career. You never know where this short-term opportunity might take you.

Maintain a Competitive Mindset: Resilience, focus, and restlessness (i.e., perpetually looking for a better way) are crucial for any top player.  You should maintain a competitive mindset during your career journey. Remain resilient, don’t dwell too much on the setbacks but learn from them as they help you grow and dedicate time to celebrate the little wins.

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