Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel at GIBS on Career Transitions. It was little daunting because my fellow panellists were people who have been working in the career coaching, executive recruitment and organisational development spaces for some years. But, it was an insightful experience to participate in because, in a way, it allowed me to get clarity on some of the lessons I have learnt about building career and transitioning between industries by simply doing (and reading).
In a weird way, having spent extended periods of my life writing, I have had to both experience and observe life simultaneously in an attempt to document thoughts, feelings, etc. In that journey, I have learnt that one needs to be engaged with your life, not allowing everything to chance.
We box ourselves. We often view our career trajectory and what we can do as being absolutely determined by what we studied, what job title we have, what industry we work in, etc. Having had a schizophrenic working life, I have, fortunately or unfortunately, had to approach it differently. One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is that it is about the skills you have and how you use them. And it is about consistently adding to those skills through engaging with the knowledge available.
The English philosopher John Locke once said, “reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” We are surrounded by an abundance of knowledge that is easily accessible. In determining the paths you want to traverse, it is about absorbing, processing and applying that knowledge and expanding our skills base to enable us to pursue the careers we dream of.
A random thought.