Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Seasons of your Career

I was fortunate to be a panelist and attendee at The Advisory Board's Winning is Everything Conference this January.  Many of the speakers talked about the firm of the future.

Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting's keynote on the Firm of the Future was fantastic. She discussed 6 trends that will affect the firm of the future. One in particular resonated with me - the idea of seasons in an economic and business sense.   Our country has gone through seasons and the trends indicate they can be predicted.  Below are the season's Rebecca has observed for our country.  Think about what was happening in our country during those times. 
  • Spring (1946 - 1964) - Era of hope of promise.  Peace and prosperity.
  • Summer (1965 - 1980) - Era of euphoria and defiance.  Cultural revolution.
  • Fall (1981 - 2000) - Era of separation and anxiety.  Institutions start to crumble.
  • Winter (2001 - 2020?) - Era of survival and gathering.  Institutions decline. 
Rebecca challenged Firms to start preparing for the spring that will be coming.  What we do now as a Firm will have a significant impact on positioning the Firm in the future.  If we don't think ahead to the next spring,  we may not make it through the winter.

As Rebecca was talking I starting thinking about how our careers have seasons too.  We go through times of hope and promise as we start a new job or receive a promotion.  As we get comfortable in our job and feel valued, we suggest changes and challenge the status quo.  As we move into new responsibilities or times of changes, our internal systems and strategies may not work any longer, creating anxiety.  And, in tough times, whether for the business or a new difficult challenge, we hunker down and try to just get through it. 

I think it's important to recognize that each of us will feel the seasons of our career.  We'll have ups and down, times of excitement and frustration.  That's ok and to be expected.  What's important is to recognize where we are and how to prepare for the next season to come.

So, as Rebecca challenged Firms to start preparing for spring, I challenge you to start preparing for the next season of your career.  Are you ready?

To learn more about Rebecca Ryan and Next Generation Consulting go to

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