People are usually bad at predicting the future because everyone thinks the future will resemble the past and they have totally different perspectives of the past based on their own experiences.
Statistics genius Nate Silver recently told a story that offers us an insight into why we need to be aware of our viewpoint looking toward the future of our career path.
Radar technology was in its infancy in the 1940s. Navy planes circled the Hawaiian Islands, searching for threats by sending planes that would fly around the islands until they were low on fuel. The Japanese military knew exactly how large that circumference was, so it sent its aircraft carriers just beyond the range that the U.S. reconnaissance planes could fly so a surprise attack would be easy.
The point is that our viewpoint usually just gives us a fraction of the whole picture. There are important developments and technology that are just outside your viewpoint that, if we knew about them, they would totally change how we view the world and future employment opportunities.
Another factor is your personal history, which is heavily influenced by your own experiences. But just like the Navy aircraft, your own experiences are only a partial view of the world, altered by when you were born and your past, the equivalent of the reconnaissance planes with a limited fuel range.
Dr. Morris Massey a Sociologist, and a former professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder produced a 70’s video titled “What You Are Is Where You Were When”. An updated version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZFLiQ8XkBE captures the essence of “viewpoint” not just related to what we believe, but also how it can affect how you develop your future employability.
The lesson here is that we need to continually and consciously update our viewpoint.
That’s why I have always believed that (1) Who You Hang Around With and (2) What You Read, are the 2 Key Factors In Determining Your Future.
Consider these ideas to ensure your viewpoint enhances your future success:
- Set aside an hour a week to browse the magazine section of your local library. Pick a magazine that piques your interest and look for insights that can offer you a new perspective related to a future career.
- Go to http://www.stumbleupon.com, select topics of interest and then let the site algorithms bring you to related websites with just the click of a button.
- Use a Twitter Keyword Tracker http://bit.ly/1oHmDaw to find articles and links to topics that will lead you to alternative career perspectives.
In computer technology, the acronym WYSIWYG translates to “What You See Is What You Get”.
Make it a habit to change what you see by taking a different route to work, rearranging your office furniture or maybe going to http://www.meetup.com to discover new friends who can offer you a new perspective on what you believe and how you think.
The world of work is changing fast. It’s time to update the software of your thinking and embrace the exciting opportunities that await you.