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Strive Msiyiwa : “Each One Of Us Must Now Change Our Careers At Least Every Five Years”

Strive Msiyiwa : “Each One Of Us Must Now Change Our Careers At Least Every Five Years”

Imagine a new world, beyond what you see and know today!  As the New Year approaches, let’s start planning ahead. Look around you, what do you see? I’ll say that time and again. Now is the time to start preparing for the future, because it’s already here! Are you ready?

The other day in New York I took a ride in an Uber (by now you already know what that is, so I won’t explain) and struck up a conversation with the driver.

“So how long have you driven for Uber?”

“About three years.”

“What did you do before you went to Uber?”

“I had another career”

“What, may I ask?”

“I drove a Yellow Cab.”

We continued to talk, as I pumped him for information about Uber and its business model, from the perspective of a driver who is himself an entrepreneur.

“So, do you make more money now?”

“In the beginning we made a lot of money. Now it’s more competitive. There are more Uber drivers and more competitors to Uber itself.”

“So, what happens now?”

“In a few years, drivers like me will be replaced by driverless cars,” he said. “You know about the race to get driverless cars on the road, sir?”

“Yes, I’m following it closely.”

“Do you think it is a good thing to replace humans with driverless cars?”

I didn’t answer him, but instead posed a question. (I estimated he was about 30 years old).

“So, what will you do?”

“Me? I will change my career again; I’m already preparing because I want to be ready.”

“You are a wise man. Thanks for the ride.” And with that I went my way.

Something he said really got me thinking: “I will change my career again.”

What particularly impressed me was his attitude towards it all: He accepted this change as normal. He was positive even. It’s not always so when I meet people and discuss something like this. Often I hear fear, bitterness and anger towards something or somebody!

Each one of us (myself included) must now change our careers at least every five years. That’s the new normal… but how many of us realize this?

Changing your career does not necessarily mean changing your job or employer, but the job you do and how it’s done will change constantly or it might disappear completely!

If you’ve been feeling that you’re not moving forward, or that you’re sliding backwards in your career, it may well be because you didn’t see this change happening around you. Perhaps you don’t “see” the new normal, where change is the only constant.

Does that make you feel uncomfortable? I’m not here to help you feel comfortable with yourself. I want you to make adjustments that will help make you a winner. If that doesn’t happen, you could end up feeling confused, angry and frustrated by things mostly outside your control.

__How well prepared are you for the changes occurring around you?

Almost 25 years ago now, our company imagined a world of African telecommunications beyond telephone landlines. Back then, most people everywhere (not just in Africa) still thought having “a phone in your handbag” sounded quite absurd! Now look where we are!

What do YOU see and imagine when you look at the horizon ahead? Might you have the vision to look even BEYOND that first horizon to something as yet unimagined?

Wherever you are, get ready for the future. It is coming, and it’s coming fast, and you better get ready.

It’s not just about technology or globalization; it’s much more profound than that, and I’ll talk about it as part of this series.

By Strive Masiyiwa

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