Make the Disruption Induced by COVID-19 a Competitive Advantage
I have been writing about the disruption that COVID-19 has caused for several months. Check out the previous posts here:
- How to Become Relevant Again in Your Career Post COVID-19
- Why Experience is Dead and Being Relevant is Far More Crucial
- Are You Willing to Embrace the Disruption with Excitement and Enthusiasm?
- How to Maneuver Your Career in a Crazy Time of Disruptive Innovation
- How Have You Been Successful in Dealing with Industry Disruption?
- Are You Prepared for the Extinction of a Steady Paycheck?
- Why and How to Establish a Growth Mindset for Thriving in 2021?
You have identified the disruption and hopefully, have embraced and become excited about it. The next step was to become educated on the technologies that are being used to solve these complex problems.
Now is the time to innovate to create a competitive advantage.
Pick a Problem that You Want to Solve
I want you to start with a consultative mindset. In general, we are hired to solve problems for our employers. Find a problem in the midst of all of this disruption that you want to solve. It does not matter that others are working on the same problem. The purpose of this exercise is to give you a platform to demonstrate your expertise.
You do not have to be an expert but know how to leverage others’ expertise.
For example, blockchain technology is being used to solve a number of problems in the supply chain. What part of this problem and solution do you want to focus on and become conversant?
Being able to articulate an opinion on a specific problem will give you a competitive advantage.
Formulate Solutions that are Based on Both New and Past Experiences
I have often said that all of my career changes were half-step career changes. I had one foot in the old world and one foot in the new world.
Look for problems and possible solutions that leverage your new knowledge with what you have done in the past.
For example, I was a very polished technical trainer in my previous life. My job took me all over the world and dealing with many cultures. When I went off to teach high school math after my near-fatal bicycle accident, I had to learn how to teach teenagers who came from lower socio-economic groups, i.e. they were poor.
I went through an alternative teaching certification program at my local community college. This gave me the knowledge to teach Algebra I and II plus some of the methods for teaching teenagers.
What I brought with me was my ability to adapt to different cultures. Rather than having to learn to adapt to the mainland Chinese or Japanese in a classroom, I had to learn a new culture, a culture of poverty.
Once I understood the cultural rules that one learns when one grows up in poverty, I knew how to adapt to this new culture. I did this so many times in the past, I knew intuitively what I needed to do which included changing my vocabulary, body language, and tone of voice.
Find a problem and formulate solutions that marry the new and old to create a competitive advantage.
It is Time to Engage
I want you to listen to my latest podcast, How to Be Engaging and Courageous on LinkedIn with Kevin Turner.
We discuss that it is important to create an excellent branded LinkedIn profile but that is not the end game. You must engage with people who are doing what you want to do.
This might be connecting with people on LinkedIn and then commenting on what they post. Gradually, over time you might start tagging them on LinkedIn posts and asking for them to comment.
Eventually, you graduate up to writing an article on LinkedIn or Medium.
The next step would be to start a blog. You might want to take ProBlogger’s free start a blog course.
Lastly, you might consider starting a podcast which I consider the ultimate networking tool. I have met and built relationships with so many people because of my Repurpose Your Career podcast. My go-to resource for starting a podcast is Dave Jackson’s School of Podcasting.
As Les Brown said:
“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
Similarly, in my discussion with Diann Wingert in the podcast episode, The Entrepreneurial Mindset for an Accidental Entrepreneur with Diann Wingert, she stated:
You have to wrap your head around the concept that you have to get started before you are ready. You have to take action before you are fully prepared to take it. There are a lot of others on this same path but those who take action will move ahead of you.
What will it take for you to get started and building up a competitive advantage?
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