Insight News

Feb 11th

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

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julie-210 8 12-copy-hotboxThe first day of school is happening all over Minnesota right now. Whatever you do now, what did that job look like when you were starting ninth grade? Did it even exist? Recruiting, for me, looks nothing like it used to. Gone are the paper files, the thermal paper fax and the suit and tie on every candidate. I always tell my kids, learn to adapt. The work you excel in might not exist yet.

Adapt. This is in direct contrast to the other good advice: create goals and stick to them. Have a plan. Don't veer from your intended path. Stay the course.

And they're both right.

If you know what your strengths are, you can use that knowledge to write up some goals. For example, there's a teacher over at a local high school who was really good at engineering. He built a career as an engineer at some of the most prestigious companies around. He constantly updated his skills and stayed on top of his goal of becoming a successful in his field. It paid off, and eventually he retired.

So, how did he get into teaching, you wonder, if his strength was engineering? In truth, his strengths were in learning new skills and working with others to create great projects. His ability to mentor others helped him reinforce his own abilities as an engineer, but he could have been equally good at something else. He knew how to learn, how to teach and how to adapt. When he decided to leave engineering, teaching engineering was a natural next step. He didn't set out to be a teacher; he took a strong skillset and applied it somewhere else.

Today, it's critical that people keep learning. It seems cliché to sing about the times a-changin' but that is the way the world works now. Whether you are in transition or perfectly secure in your current position, remember to keep an eye on developing your skills rather than falling back on your title. The job you excel at next might not look anything like the job you have today.

Julie Desmond is IT Recruiting Manager with George Konik Associates, Inc. Please write to Julie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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