In the article "Career Plans Are Dangerous," the Harvard Business Review tackles the old idea that we can plan our careers in a linear fashion. You go to school to study architecture, you become an architect, you work as an architect, become partner, and retire. Has this happened to anyone you know? Probably. But the percentage of people who experience this career path is small.
When I was 17, I went to college with no idea of what I wanted to do as a working adult. When I retired from college (read: no graduation), I really stared my education. I moved from banking to retail brand development to printing to e-commerce to other pursuits. Experience showed my what was possible and what worked for me.
Inc. Magazine has profiled four college-age entrepreneurs who elected to take $100,000 in angel funding instead of going to school. There's a debate raging about the education system and if it prepares students for the past or for the unknown jobs of the future.
This conversation is not limited to teenagers. It directly involves you. How are you acquiring new skills? How are you educating yourself to become a better leader? Whatever you're doing, it might not be enough.
The world changes. The first iPad was put into the hands of a customer on April 3, 2010. The third version was unveiled 23 months later. This has changed business services, website access, design approaches, consumer electronics, and expectations worldwide. If you are living like life is the same as it was 2 years ago - or like you just graduated college - you are behind, my friend.
Take yourself out for an hour. Think about what you want to accomplish next. Dive deeply into your thoughts and figure out if you have the skills and connections to make it happen. If yes, sketch a plan to make it happen. If not, hit the books and hit the streets. You may not be able to predict the next five years, but you can change your course in five days.