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If You Want a Place in the Future, Be Part of It

Potential clients and colleagues are not looking to what you have done, but to how you are shaping the future. This is critical because it forces us to change how we see our jobs, our daily work and how we measure our success.

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I’m writing this blog post as someone who, perhaps like you, is trying to make sense of their own industry as it transitions in the face of emerging digital and special technology. Traditionally no matter what career you were in, your credentials were built on your portfolio of work. In short, the things you had done in the past. Those days are over.

In my experience potential clients and colleagues are not looking to what you have done, but to how you are shaping the future. This is critical because it forces us to change how we see our jobs, our daily work, and how we measure our success.

Gone are the days when we can post a portfolio of work online and wait for clients to come and find us. Gone are the days when we could trade on pre-existing relationships because every industry is reconstituting itself and cultivating new business partners. Gone are the days when reputation alone afforded security because our the marketplace has no time to look back.

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Instead, to attract attention, clients or projects, we must each position ourselves as one of those people who are moving their industry forward, that are pushing the boundaries of known practices, that are serving as sign posts for the future.

This means individual consultants, directors, designers, artists, and advertising creatives must raise the profile of their own brands to create a gravitational force of their own. This means companies and brands must elevate innovation to an even higher priority, take risks to a greater degree and celebrate failure more frequently. The bottom line is that marketplace is becoming increasingly fluid institutionalizing instability.

Ironically, there is no better environment for a creative person. But its tough to be courageous in this economy. Yet no matter whether the economy improves or not, the pace and diversity of technological change will necessitate the same appetite for risk. We must all put our best and bravest foot forward. The only way to make sure you have a place in the future is to create it.

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Do you agree that emerging technology is changing our roles faster than before? Or do you believe the more things change the more they stay the same?

[Image by Postworthy]

Reprinted from SimonMainwaring.com

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Simon Mainwaring is a branding consultant, advertising creative director, blogger, and speaker. A former Nike creative at Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy, he now consults for brands and creative companies that are re-inventing their industries and enabling positive change. Follow him at SimonMainwaring.com or on Twitter @SimonMainwaring.

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About the author

Simon Mainwaring is founder/CEO of We First, a strategic consultancy accelerating growth and impact for purpose-driven brands. He’s a member of the Steering Committee of Sustainable Brands, the Advisory Council of Conscious Capitalism LA, the Forbes Business Council and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Simon is a featured Expert and Jury Member at the Cannes Lions Festival for the Sustainable Development Goals in 2021, host of the ‘Brands With Purpose’ series with Harvard Business School Association of Boston, and his company, We First, is included in Real Leaders list for the Top 100 Impact Companies in the US for 2021

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