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Repurpose Your Career | Career Pivot | Careers for the 2nd Half of Life | Career Change | Baby Boomer

Repurpose Your Career podcast brought to you by Career Pivot is a podcast for those of us in the 2nd half of life to come together to discuss how repurpose our careers for the 21st century.  Come listen to career experts give you proven strategies, listen to people like you tell their stories about how they repurposed their careers and finally get your questions answered.   Your host, Marc Miller, has made six career pivots over the last 30 years. He understands this is not about jumping out of the frying pan into a fire but rather to create a plan where you make clear actionable steps or pivots to a better future career. 
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Jun 11, 2018

Marti Konstant reviews core principles of agile thinking. She focuses on what she learned from her body of research and how it applies to people at any stage of their career and life but especially to those who are set in their ways and need a new way to see the world. Listen in for an exciting and purposeful conversation on agility!

 

Key Takeaways:

[:56] Marc welcomes you to Episode 82 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast and invites you to share this podcast with like-minded souls. Please subscribe, share it on social media, write an honest iTunes review, or tell your neighbors and colleagues.

[1:25] Several episodes back, Marc asked for volunteers for the “Can You Repurpose Your Career” series. Marc worked with Tim in episodes 48-51.
[1:38] Marc has selected two volunteers — Juan, a 55-year old former school teacher, who’s trying to figure out what is next, and Sarah, a marketer who is a square peg. Sarah is in her early fifties and Marc will help her figure what the future may hold. Each of these will comprise of three or four episodes spread out over several months.

[2:06] Marc wants you to see how some personalities have difficulty fitting in today’s workplace. Teachers, if they’ve taught for many years, they struggle to find their place in the traditional workplace. They don’t quite feel they fit in, but don’t know why. Marc will explore where they fit in and where they are misinterpreted.

[2:48] In this week’s episode, Marc interviews Marti Konstant, author of Activate Your Agile Career: How Responding to Change Will Inspire Your Life’s Work. Marti is a workplace futurist with an agile mindset. She is a career growth analyst, author, speaker, and Founder of the Agile Careerist Project.
[3:13] Marti’s career path includes artist, designer, brand developer, entrepreneur, technology marketing executive, investor, and a 2nd half of life career pivoter.

[3:26] Marc welcomes Marti to the Repurpose Your Career podcast.

[4:22] Marti talks about a career detour that started early in her life with diagnoses of skeletal diseases that put her in a full-body brace for her high-school years. What it did was taught Marti the value of true friends, and gave her focus on her schoolwork. She learned to adapt to a life of near-immobility.

[7:39] Marc relates to that, as he recalls rupturing the L4-L5 disk in his back and being bed-bound for four months.

[8:36] Marti started as a graphic designer, then ran a B-2-B business with a partner. The next third of her career, Marti migrated into marketing. She got an MBA and worked for growth-stage technology companies. When she was Chief Marketer at a company, it was sold to a Fortune 100 company. She had been working towards that success.

[11:41] Observing engineers, she took their agile production techniques of breaking things into smaller pieces and collaborating on projects, and applied those methods to the marketing business. She learned about formal project management and cites the way it was used to put a man on the moon.

[13:06] In 2012 Marti worked with a group of global marketers to apply agile methods to the marketing process. They came up with an agile marketing manifesto.

[13:49] Marketing was modestly different from engineering, so the agile method principles had to be adjusted. Marti started thinking about adjusting some of the principles of agile methods to the management of one’s own career. In 2012, the world was reeling from the global financial crisis. People were not adapting to the changes.

[14:50] There was downsizing and organizations became efficient. People became consultants who did not want to be consultants. Marti thought the world needed agile methods to adapt to changes.

[16:00] Marti reviews “lean” methods — test a product; get market feedback; change the product according to the feedback. It is a subset of agile thinking. Marti put up some LinkedIn Slideshare pieces that were 12-15 slides long, based on 20 interviews she had conducted and they got thousands of views and hundreds of downloads.

[17:00] Marti adjusted her interview process and did about 120 interviews of one-third Millennials, one-third Gen-Xers and one-third Boomers. Then she hired a marketing research firm to survey mid-careerists between the ages of 35 to early 50s. Marti learned many things through this project.

[17:45] Marti’s big ‘aha’ was that every individual is skewed more towards being set in their ways or agile. Marti found that people who were adaptable and responded to change were able to advance, be happier in their jobs and had the mindset that they didn’t have to worry about things like recessions.

[19:14] The career agility model starts with the design-thinking phase of life, when we’re exploring and refining what we want to do. We should never let the design-thinking phase of our life end. Then we determine at some point what our strengths, likes, and dislikes are. We enter the career hypothesis phase.

[20:30] You graduate from school or a program, or you learn it on your own, and then you start your career. Marti found that 80% of the people who were interviewed got the job they could get — not that perfect job. Sometimes they ended up in completely unexpected roles. The first job very often impacted their career trajectory.

[21:06] The model covers things like having a project mindset, A-B testing your career, the concept of an idea zone (similar to a backlog that software engineers use where they nurture ideas for the next generation of their product), activating the feedback squad of mentors, colleagues, advisors and “learning from dead people.”

[22:05] Life and work aren’t about one thing. We are more productive when we explore on the side things unrelated to our core industry or interest. This helps us in the way that we solve problems. Parallel pursuits can be side gigs or freelance work. Meanwhile, optimize your career brand.

[22:46] Similar to the five stages of grieving, you don’t have to do the steps of the agility model in order. Many of the most successful agile careerists went through all or most of the steps.

[23:08] Marti talks about the project mindset. View your career as a series of projects rather than as one big thing. A project generates excitement. It has a foreseeable beginning, middle and end. When something gets too protracted, it get boring. The ideal segment of time today for a role is about two to three years.

[24:46] The project mindset is pretty intriguing because one of the biggest problems we have in our workplace today is lack of engagement. A large percent of disengaged workers are actively negative.

[25:15] Marti talks about optimizing the areas of creativity, growth, and happiness. If you are optimizing on these three fronts, you are in the right role and in the zone but it’s always important to think about what’s next.

[25:45] Seth Godin proposed the concept of life as a series of projects. Seth started in corporate. Now he takes each of his book ideas, creates a project of it, gets a sponsor, and does workshops around it. Each book project is focused on helping people to be more productive and successful. Marti talks about debriefing and tweaking the project.

[27:05] Marc relates his experience of his expected linear career on graduation in 1978. This was the steadfast mindset. Marc talks about the creative destruction of the iPhone and other innovations. Marc has people in his community who are stuck because they want to do things that don’t exist anymore.

[28:52] If you don’t adapt, you will be left behind. Marti refers to Joseph Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction. Today the destruction is accelerating. The half-life of an education is now less than five years. Agility thinking is not age-specific. Integrate agility into thinking or you will leave a lot of opportunities and rich experiences on the table.

[31:49] You never really know what you’re walking into. When Marti started this project five years ago, she had just sold her company, was consulting, traveling to Silicon Valley, and doing this research on the side. She didn’t know why she was doing it or where it would lead but she was curious and couldn’t drop it.

[32:43] She started to ask how she could use this body of work to help people and mitigate some of the pain and suffering they go through in managing their career. She devised models and workshops. She helped people develop career brand maps. She built tools useful in a webinar or an interview. She knew it couldn’t be about her opinion.

[34:07] Marti provides exercises at the end of each book chapter similar to the types of things she would cover in a workshop to help people with tools of agility. Marti believes people of any age can learn this and learn to optimize their creativity, growth, and happiness. Marti wants to mitigate the technology overwhelm.

[35:04] Marti’s last bit of advice: pick out a hobby or something that challenges you in a way that is exciting for you. Do something on the side that will be useful for you in the future. This isn’t a quick fix. You might find something that could be a parallel track for you and you could find yourself jumping a lane in the near future.”

[36:00] In light of chaos theory, Marc recommends you randomly try stuff. “Go take a dart and throw it against the wall and see what it hits.”

[36:37] Marti cites Tina Seelig of Stanford: “Experiences lead to passions, not the other way around.” Marti says that is a golden nugget. The reality is testing, experimentation, and measuring to find what you like. Give yourself permission to try new things.

[40:27] Check back next week, when Marc starts the “Can Juan Repurpose His Career?” Series.

 

Mentioned in This Episode:

Careerpivot.com

CareerPivot.com/Episode-48 “Can Tim Repurpose His Career? Part 1”

CareerPivot.com/Episode-49 “Can Tim Repurpose His Career? Part 2”

CareerPivot.com/Episode-50 “Can Tim Repurpose His Career? Part 3”

CareerPivot.com/Episode-51 “Can Tim Repurpose His Career? Part 4”

Activate Your Agile Career: How Responding to Change Will Inspire Your Life’s Work, by Marti Konstant

The Agile Marketing Manifesto

Eric Ries

The Lean Startup Project

LinkedIn Slideshare

Eleanor Roosevelt

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

The Startup of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

Seth Godin

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck

Joseph Schumpeter

CareerPivot.com/Episode-20 with Elizabeth Rabaey

Tina Seelig

AgileCareer.com

 

Please pick up a copy of Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, by Marc Miller and Susan Lahey. The paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats are available now. When you have completed reading the book, Marc would very much appreciate your leaving an honest review on Amazon.com. The audio version of the book is available on iTunes app, Audible, and Amazon.

Marc has the paid membership community running on the CareerPivot.com website. The website is in production. Marc is contacting people on the waitlist. Get more information and sign up for the waitlist at CareerPivot.com/Community. Marc has three initial cohorts of 10 members in the second half of life and he is onboarding the fourth cohort. They are guiding him on what to build. He is looking for individuals for the fifth cohort who are motivated to take action and give Marc input on what he should produce next. He’s currently working on LinkedIn, blogging, and book publishing training. Marc is bringing someone in to guide members on how to write a book. The next topic will be business formation and there will be lots of other things. Ask to be put on the waiting list to join a cohort. This is a unique paid membership community where Marc will offer group coaching, special content, mastermind groups, and a community where you can seek help.

CareerPivot.com/Episode-82 Show Notes for this episode.

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