Consider this: according to Fast Company, on average, a person between the ages of 25 and 45 will hold 11 different jobs in their lifetime. Thirty percent of us will work in more than 15 different jobs over the course of our careers.
Here’s what’s also happening: Companies are increasingly looking for employees who can adapt to changing industry needs and who can quickly learn new skills.
Raise your hand if you’ve seen this job ad before:
Major media company seeks talented, multimedia journalists who, in addition to being able to do write, shoot, edit, fact-check, and package news stories of all types, are also creative technologists, data scientists, entrepreneurs, mobile product managers, social media strategists, and can perform tasks for jobs not yet invented.
Yeah, you’re supposed to be able to do it all today and in anticipation for jobs that don’t even exist.
On the flipside of this coin, more creatives can’t describe what they do in a neat title: I’m a writer, producer, strategist, entrepreneur, educator…And I’m not alone. Most of the creatives who sign up for The Create Daily, check several boxes to describe what they do.
In order to navigate our interests as well as the changing nature of the workplace and work in general, as well as our economy, we need to think, act, and create like a mashup.
Mashups are fusions of disparate elements, that when constructed well, create an innovative and powerful whole.
What mashups do:
- They take the best or most fitting slices of different mediums and fuse them together.
- The fusion creates a new whole that is generally relevant, innovative, and unique
So how do you think, act, and create like a mashup? A few ways to get started:
- Seek out inspiration from different disciplines and philosophies.
- Travel across physical and digital spaces.
- Drop the box. In this case, I’m mean stop trying so hard to define yourself. Sometimes we spend more time defining what we do instead of actually doing.
- While skill-building, also focus on trait-building. Work on being more adaptable, resourceful, flexible, diverse.
- Operate from a mission and not a title.
- Sample and layer like a music producer from different theories, worldviews, perspectives, and cultures and don’t apologize for it.
At the end of the day, you are the ultimate mashup of ideas, wants, desires, experiences, skills, perspectives, all of which are working together as a composition of you.
By thinking, acting, and creating like a mashup, you bring more to the table for jobs, projects, conversations and life. And you open yourself up for opportunities and experiences that travel way beyond your normal path.
Photo credit: Jessica Clark via Flickr