21st Century Thinking: Positioning Yourself

the 20th century offered unique opportunities for folks with knowledge and/or skill sets that they could sell. These lucky millions of people could “plug into” work environments and sell high value added services. It was something new on the planet and the effects were revolutionary.

But there was a catch. The catch had to do with what you could  plug into. The plug in points were relatively fixed. So, for example, when my dad was trying to advise me as a young boy what my future could hold, he said “You can become a professional or you can go into management.” In his mind there was nothing else worth thinking about. In other words, I had limited choices in how to plug in.

This started to break apart in the late 20th century when tech startups started to make serious money. Suddenly, one might think about being a “serial entrepreneur” or a “VC”. In other words, you might be able to fashion a career out of creating more plug in opportunities.

Let’s take this a step further. Everything we do during the day is a part of a process that extends far beyond our desks. And each of these processes has plug in points of various types. In other words, it is possible to imagine that being skilled in the 21st century is not just about plugging into traditional career slots. Being skilled is as much about adding value by  positioning yourself to create new plug opportunities.

that positioning occupation doesn’t have a name yet. But it is all about getting in between people with problems and people with skills that can help solve those problems. Curating solutions, so to speak.

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