When you start looking for a new job after losing one, a lot of ideas pop into your mind. Should I double down on the role or industry where I have been previously employed? Is it time to pivot, to try something new? What skills or capabilities do I have and how can they be best applied?

For me, I think it is important to constantly explore opportunities This goes back to my nature, diverging before converging as noted in an earlier post. I think any job seeker has several paths in front of them:

  • – Refocus – continue in the same roles, with the same responsibilities, in the same industry or geography.
  • – Repurpose – keep one or more of these factors the same, but change others. This is an adjacent strategy, taking skills from one industry and applying them in another, or shifting the focus from a large company to a startup, as an example.
  • – Redirect – think about entirely different roles or capabilities that you can offer the marketplace.

It’s my opinion that every individual owns the responsibility to make themselves attractive and employable. This means constantly gaining skills, constantly exploring emerging needs and capabilities, and being able to shift to roles, positions, industries or other opportunities that are gaining traction, rather than simply holding on tenaciously to jobs, positions or industries that are stagnant or shrinking.

Jim Carroll, who has built a really fascinating business in keynote talks about the future, demonstrates a good example of what I call repurposing. Recently, he shifted his focus to de-emphasize innovation and increase emphasis on digital transformation. This doesn’t mean that innovation isn’t important; it’s simply a recognition that digital transformation is increasingly more important to customers. Thus Jim, and others of us like Jim, must consider how or if we incorporate digital transformation capabilities in our tool kits and in our job search.

So the question is, as you search for something new, do you stay the course, explore adjacent opportunities, positions and industries, or shift to a radically new opportunity. And as you consider that, ask yourself another question – how have I prepared myself to fill that opportunity, or what do you need to do in order to be capable in a new role?