It’s not news to anyone who’s looked for a job recently that the days of a monolithic career spent at one company or in one well-defined field are over. Many of us have had to — willingly or out of necessity — rethink our career paths. It’s not always easy, but I firmly believe that the hybrid mentality and expertise this process creates is valuable to today’s fast-moving companies.
In her HBR article, “Disrupt Yourself,” Whitney Johnson discussed how Clayton Christensen’s theories of disruptive innovation can be applied to changing one’s career path in a competitive job market. Successful disruption depends on being clear about one’s strengths, but sometimes your real strengths can get buried once you start to follow a conventionally established career path. As Whitney noted in her piece, my own career is rather unconventional, and in my case, I found that what I’m really good at — research — got lost as I pursued an education and career as a designer.