The Importance of Being a Swiss Army Knife

Pondering the inevitable disappearance of your job title, the preferred response is not to panic (check if ‘What to Do When You’re Doomed‘ is currently on special on Amazon), or stick your head in the sand and continue selling typewriter covers, but to plug and play. Become a multiplug adapter of sorts.

As someone who’s been seemingly intent on turning career hopping into a professional sport, I’ve had my fair share of industry exposure, and I’ve rubbed brains with many job titles in many work settings.

Key takeaway?

Job security gets in the way of job security.

Most people prefer to stay in the same job in the same industry, year in, year out. It feels safe. Boxed into a role, they know what they’re doing and what’s expected of them. They might change companies, they might get a promotion, but their status quo, for the most part, remains unchanged. The reality is that this approach is far from safe.

Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore

Everyone is vying for your job. It’s not a dog-eat-dog kinda world out there anymore where your greatest competition is your ambitious new colleague. Instead, there are entrepreneurs intent on getting private island-rich who are rolling out technological solutions geared to make your very professional existence redundant. That’s if your dogged intent on niche-ing your niche doesn’t make you superfluous first.

Of course, I’m not suggesting an annual Round the Job Market tour. Having gotten many t-shirts doing just that, I can assure you it’s not for the faint of heart, and it sure doesn’t rake up a provident fund, either. Good for many things, but a sense of security – or identity, if that’s something your career needs to provide – definitely isn’t on the list.

However, within your field of expertise, there’s a whole universe of options. If you’re a copywriter, why should you not dabble in a bit of digital marketing, too? You never know where it might lead, but it will lead to more places than copywriting would, on its own. As a digital marketer, why not challenge your expertise by entering an industry where everything you know is toppled upside down? I recently did this by entering into pharmaceuticals, and I find myself having to rethink and reframe my entire digital marketing-mindset. The result? A better digital marketer will emerge, one not defined by industry or application but by all-round expertise.

To dance, you need to know your steps. Those with two left feet are usually left on the sidelines, sinking ever more into the walls of their wallflower-ness. And debt collectors aren’t gardeners or dance instructors…there’s no waiting for you to get the hang of it. To survive in the rapidly changing professional landscape, you had better ensure your ease at ballet is as good as your affinity for the tango.