Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Don’t Plan Your Career

The world is changing. Fast. Travel agents, mail sorters, bank tellers, telemarketers and cashiers are all going the way of the dodo. And technology will soon replace more.

Today, nothing stays the same for long. You don’t know what industries will stick around, let alone what companies you’ll work for or what you’ll exactly be doing there. And no role is identical even if they share the same description.

Technologies change. Industries change. Jobs change. And, of course, you’ll change.

So trying to predict what you’ll be doing in ten years is ridiculous. Don’t bother. You’ll only dishearten yourself and unnecessarily limit your opportunities. 

While commitment generally has many upsides, there’s no benefit to clinging onto a dying trade.

The key to a good career isn’t planning, but developing a valuable skill set. Once you have the skills, all that’s left is to strike when opportunity presents itself.

Which opportunities do you seize?

It depends on your appetite for risk. If you’re young and single, you can afford to move around. Do you have a partner and kids or a loved one to take care of? Then it’s wiser to turn down opportunities that demand you to travel.

Besides risk, you also want to consider the benefits of an opportunity. What do you stand to gain? Perhaps new skills, job satisfaction, valuable connections, a fun experience, or a shot at making some serious stacks.

Next, you want to balance out the pros and cons. Does the opportunity feel like a step up from what you have now? And how easily can you bounce back if things go south?

It’s relatively easy to soak up financial damage when you’re young, so that’s the best time to take on jobs that offer little financial reward but lots of opportunity for growth. Do you have a family? Then it’s probably in your best interest to take as little risk as possible and focus on money.

Stop overthinking your career. Develop valuable skills and assess every opportunity that comes your way. 

If you don’t see enough opportunities, seek them out.

P.S. I saved the best tip for last: don’t take career advice from strangers on the internet.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach