Thought Catalog
April 19, 2017

Own Your Career: How To Stay Relevant

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Dai KE

Here is some advice on staying relevant in a crowded marketplace – and most importantly, owning your career.

What does staying relevant mean to you?

Cultural trends evolve and constantly change over time. What we do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve, determines our position and reputation within our respective industries.

We are greatly influenced by popular culture — and in my case, as a marketing professional in tech, staying abreast of marketing trends and insights are necessary for me to fuel client success. The advent of social media also stimulates a greater demand for us to keep up with the rapidly changing world. Staying relevant is taking ownership of my purpose and focusing on self-improvement. When I am equipped with tools and resources that will help me speak with authority and increase my visibility, I am empowered to invest in myself. Each of us is unique — and brings something new to the table.

Today, consider taking a step back — forget about being relevant for the next ten minutes — and ponder on the importance of getting back to basics:

Get to the soul of your brand.
Stay true to your core values.
Shift your perspective.
Embrace your future.
Nurture your craft.
Remember your ‘whys’.

Get to the soul of your brand.

Your brand is not an inanimate object; it is a living and breathing entity. Your brand is a reflection of your personal aesthetic; it is your voice, your tone, your vision, your presence, and how others feel around you. It is your reputation and how you will be remembered. Your brand is your lifestyle —  and you are your brand.

Stay true to your core values.

As the world evolves around us, it is important to recognize and demonstrate our commitment to our core values. Our values serve as a filter through which we make the choices that define who we are in a saturated marketplace; conversely, the saturated marketplace should also inspire us to live authentically.

When we embrace our core values, we are motivated to deliver honest and distinctly unique approaches that will separate us from competitors — thus, keeping us ahead of the curve.

Shift your perspective.

When we limit our perspective, we create boundaries that hinder our progression towards more in-depth insights. There are multiple viewpoints that capture the truth. Shifting our perspective deepens our character and expands our understanding.

Embrace your future.

We celebrate past wins to remember the formula that enabled our success. But, often times, we find it difficult to let go of what is familiar to us. Just as it is essential to hold on to greatness and look back on what we have accomplished, it is also important for us to adapt to new situations.

We embrace our future by taking smart risks and proactively responding to a rapidly changing society through a lifelong practice of learning, applying ourselves, and moving on to the next best thing.

Nurture your craft.

Embrace new information, connect the dots, and leverage resources. When we are constantly learning, we are consistently asking new questions that will spark creativity, inspire us to think differently, and generate bigger and better ideas.

Remember your ‘whys’.

Welcoming other perspectives and embracing new information as we grow with the times is important. But, it is also essential to remember our ‘whys’. When we remember our ‘whys’, we go back to the source of our truth: the motive behind our work.

When we engage in meaningful work, we are able to filter relevant opportunities, connect with our highest self, and continue moving towards a fulfilling path.

This post is not just about tips on how to be relevant as much as it is about being mindful of where we have been, where we are today, and how we can nurture our craft to make the most of our career journey. How we choose to embrace our future determines our relevance in this age of disruption. As I approach my mid-30s, I am reminded how time flies — and what has already passed is beyond retrieval.

More than ever, in this ever-changing landscape, I need to slow down, shift my perspective, and remember my ‘whys’. I feel most relevant when I share valuable information or spark meaningful conversations because I am helping people and, most importantly, making the most of their precious time. Being relevant is not about being the first, smartest, or quickest person in the room.

Being relevant is displaying true grit — and leading with purpose and compassion. Eventually, everything comes full circle. The decisions I have made led me to this point in my career — and I still have a long way to go. How are you owning your career? TC mark

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