A recent Business Insiderarticle, Here's What Banking And Money Will Be Like 30 Years From Now, By Geoff Williams highlights the reasons why you need to stay abreast of business trends in managing your career. Why Mr. Williams article about the future of banking is not about career development, the implications for jobs and career growth in the banking industry are clear if you start to think about them. And while I use this article and the banking industry as an example, the same can be seen in careers in other fields as well.

In the article Mr. Williams uses an example where a couple of banks are now testing 3-D video banking. He also discusses historical changes in the banking sector from in-person service, to the rise of ATMs, internet banking and now mobile banking. And while these new services offer customers a better banking experience, people currently in the work force as well as new people entering the workforce need to be aware of the trends and how they affect jobs – perhaps your job and your career.  

While it is difficult to say if these changes overall produce or reduce the number of jobs over all, it is clear that the types of jobs afforded by these opportunities are different. Take for instance the rise of ATMs.  Banks were able to save money by reducing hours, staff or even branches by installing ATMs.  Less of a need for bank tellers. However more people were now needed to build ATMs, deliver them and install them. While some jobs disappeared, others were created. They are just different jobs requiring different skills and interests.  

This simple example illustrates what you need to be aware of regarding business trends  and how they will impact your career, The Business of You. How will the rise of a new technology influence your current work? Will it make your work easier? More demanding? Will you need training? Will it reduce or eliminate the need for your position? Will it create a better position for you in your company or at another company?  

Chances are you are already aware of the trends in your industry. You may even be making plans for your company to follow these trends and take advantage of them.  But, how often do you step back and use this information and apply it to your career planning? 

A SWOT Analysis For Your Career

As part of a business's strategic planning process they will often conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for :

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities 
  • Threats

You should be conducting a SWOT Analysis for your career as well. What are your strengths and weaknesses. Not just personally but interacting with the market place as well. What Opportunities do you see that you can move into. Think more broadly than just the next job you want. As illustrated by the banking example, what opportunities would someone who is a bank teller have in a world of mobile banking?  And threats are there coming from the market place. Will your career survive an industry shift? 

With proper analysis and planning you can reduce the chance of being caught off guard and practically eliminate the chance of being unprepared for changes. You are the owner of your career. No one else. You are the one responsible for your career. As the CEO of the Business of You, what are you doing to prepare your business to move forward and thrive?