First the Market, Then the Passion, Then the Skill

We get it backwards – focusing on building our skills before figuring out what the market needs are and what we’re passionate about. I say first figure out what’s hot in an industry you care about. What are the market and technology trends and their implications for upcoming jobs ahead.
Then look at what you’re passionate about and who would pay you for doing day-to-day work around your areas of passion. From there skills can fit easily into the formula.
Here are some guidelines for finding your career fit, based on the Market-Passion-Skill filter.
  1. Understanding what customers are looking for and how companies are serving their needs is fundamental to selecting a company and a role where you can be successful.
  2. Technology will be core to providing scalable value for all successful businesses, no matter what industry you’re in. So companies who get this precept will be more likely to embrace and integrate technology in serving their customers.
  3. Understanding the market trends will help you predict which company and which leaders to join, and why they have an edge over others.
  4. After selecting the right leaders and company, you can focus on what you’re passionate about and how you can make a difference.
  5. Deciding what you really enjoy doing is a superset of what you’ve enjoyed doing in the past, plus what you would like to do, if you were given a chance to do it. Often this involves including a creative element, which had not been previously encouraged.
  6. Don’t ignore your needs or your passion – it will help you find both happiness in the short term and for the long term.
  7. Skills are important, but consider the market opportunities and your passions before looking at your skills set. Too many people focus on just building the skills, and not knowing which skills the market would demand and/or which skills are of interest to them.
  8. Focus on building generalizable skills in leadership and communication as they will be core, no matter what position you will assume.
  9. Understand enough about technology to know how that supports the needs of the customer and helps the company better serve the customer now and in the future.
  10. Considering the market first, then the passion and the skill will help you find a position and role which would satisfy all three needs. But the career path is a journey, not a destination.
Hope that these thoughts will help you better consider what you’re doing now and how you’re positioning yourself for what’s ahead.

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