On September 12, 2013 I had the pleasure of speaking to both MBA and undergraduate students at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. I was invited by professors Mary Hinesly and Amy Young to give a presentation entitled Your Digital Era Career to their Social Media and the Changing Nature of Business Communication classes. Since the topic is relevant to a wide range of professionals at all career stages, I thought it would be worthwhile to upload the presentation deck to SlideShare and distribute it via the Denovati SMART Blog as well.
The talk focused on the current and future states of organizations and organizational life, how social and digital technologies are transforming how work gets done, what it means to be a leader in the Digital Era, and how Digital Era realities will impact the career trajectories of young professionals in particular.
My ideas were well received in both classes, and the undergraduates in particular were quite enthusiastic and engaged. Several of them followed up with both me and the professors after the session, in person and in writing (yes, they used email!), and emphasized how valuable it was for them to think about how various trends and technologies fit together, particularly from a professional perspective. A number of them have already had experience leveraging digital technologies in organizations for which they worked, so they could relate directly to some of the realities and challenges I addressed. And more than a few of them are planning to pursue Digital Era careers focused on the intersection of people and technology (which is my personal sweet spot and an area I think has significant growth potential). One undergraduate has even created her own multi-disciplinary major!
But managing one's career in the Digital Era isn't something that only younger professionals need to concern themselves with. Most people's work lives, professional development, and career trajectories will be significantly impacted by social and digital technologies in the years to come. Unfortunately, however, many people are unprepared or underprepared for that reality.
I hope the slides offer some unique food for thought as you start/continue your own Digital Era career. You may also want to check out Leadership and Career Management in the Digital Era, which includes additional slides with more specific tactical advice.
If you have additional insights or recommendations to share, I'd love to hear them. And of course I'm happy to clarify some of the slides and/or answer any questions you may have about Digital Era careers. Thanks!