I wrote The Leap: Launching Your Full-Time Career in our Part-Time Economy to help people see that the world fundamentally changed during the global recession that started in 2008. Many believe that we are finishing a long and slow crawl back to normalcy. This is a dangerous misconception and form of mass cognitive dissonance as we hope and wish for things to be the same as there were in the past. However, deep down I think most people feel that something has changed. We have entered a new economy with new rules and together we face changes with continual globalization, rapid technological advancements, and confusing and onerous local and global regulation that all combined to provide a dichotomy of challenges and opportunities to us all. Some of us will reap great benefits while others will face stress and difficulties. I believe what we each experience will be based on how prepared we are and what changes we made to engineer our lives and careers to operate in this new global marketplace.
Everyone will be impacted, from the young starting their career to those navigating mid-career obstacles or the seniors nearing the end of their career and preparing for retirement. We all will face similar challenges in this new environment as the ideas and concepts of careers, jobs, and retirements are being redefined. I was unaware of many of these changes until I started studying them not just from a local but global perspective. As I interviewed leaders from around the world I realized the advice and counsel I would give my children needed to change. I also realized I needed to make personal changes in how I was preparing for the future. More importantly I wanted to tell my friends and family what I was learning. Playing this new game by the old rules, the things that I was taught growing up, in my mind was a recipe for disaster.
Some people have asked me, “Bob, are you recommending that people quit their jobs and go start a business on their own?” No! Some people will see the benefit of doing this and over time will make that leap. However, the biggest leap we need to make the mental leap from the framework of the past to a new understanding that this world in which we are living has changed. Second, we need to engineer our lives to be flexible and mobile without anchors that will encumber us from accepting new opportunities. Third, we need to be developing side revenue streams and opportunities so that we are not dependent on one single source of income. Finally, when we finish this “Lifestyle Engineering” or “Career Hacking” as some are calling it we will place ourselves in a position to help those who are struggling. Paying it forward brings the greatest joy and rewards in life.
Making the leap is not about quitting your job and starting something new. Making the leap is about changing the way we think, the way we live, and preparing for the new realities of our global economy. When we do this we will change perceived challenge into great opportunities that will provide a more secure future with less stress! Its time to make the leap.
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