Businesses have been saying things like this since the 1990’s:
- "Learn to code!"
- “Electric cars are the future of transportation!”
Not all industry trends have long-term value.
That can be a problem for your career if you tend to follow every latest trend.
Before you alter your career, consider this advice.
1. What is the long-term cost of my career investment?
Some industries seem like they neither change nor appreciate people who try to change them.
If you start following the latest trend and try to push this trend on others, you may be viewed as someone who is disloyal to your industry.
And if that happens, you will have to change careers.
You must consider the long-term investment of the latest trend you are following. Will it serve you in the long-term or just distract you from what you should be following?
Some examples of such industries that rarely change include Banking, Government, and Insurance.
Industries that have been around for 80 to 200 years are usually the last places to accept rapid change.
2. Will you find the latest industry trend to be personally fulfilling?
Just because you think, “People talk about this latest industry trend all the time on social media! I need to get in on it!” does not mean you should change career directions.
Research the latest industry trends on your own. Do not listen to marketing hype. Try job seeking as a hobby to see what companies are saying.
Job postings, marketing, and viral movements are not enough to indicate an industry trend has taken off.
Getting involved without knowing if it is fulfilling for you may stall your career path. You chased an idea without considering if the latest trend would make you feel accomplished.
3. Is this latest trend important or just a shiny new version of the old industry trends?
Some industry trends cause people to think about the way the old one worked.
Some trends simply provide a solution to a long-standing industry problem no one could seem to solve.
But does this mean you should alter your career path to learn all about it? Not at all.
Here are some examples:
- Electric or self-driving cars did not eliminate gas stations.
- Bitcoin does not mean you should end your career at Wells Fargo.
- Live streaming services has not eliminated broadcast television.
Maybe someday they will, but can your career wait that long?
New industry trends often exist alongside old trends. In some cases, older industries will adopt newer technology effectively because they have a trusted brand name.
It does not mean the new trend was worth following.
Being honest with yourself about the latest trends
If you are in an industry like retail, and you have a bad gut feeling that your company is part of an industry that is rapidly disappearing, do not wait to act.
Your gut instinct is the result of both your life and career experience.
If your gut instincts are screaming, “Get out while you can”, skip all the blog advice and just do it.