Has your career path stalled? Maybe you need a shift in your mindset. Savvy professionals around the world have adopted the process of design thinking—a series of steps for generating options, testing strategies, and seeking feedback—to reinvent their careers.
Design thinking was used previously as a tool in product development (focusing on the end user) but now its scope is expanding into a solution for getting unstuck from any problem—including a career plateau. And it works.
Before embarking on your career reinvention, it’s important to remain curious and open to new possibilities, no matter how obscure an idea may seem. This helps in your progression through each step of design thinking.
Empathize — You are the end user when designing your career, so take time to consider what really matters to you. Reflect on your values, interests, and strengths. Identify why you want to engage in a new career opportunity.
Define — Consider what you need to be happy, successful, and empowered in your career. Define these in ways that honor you and not the expectations of others.
Ideate — Brainstorm as many solutions as possible. Wild ideas are encouraged, so don’t limit yourself or be hampered by perceived obstacles.
Prototype — Try things out on a small scale. View these attempts as rough drafts and not fully fleshed out. Consider job shadowing, informational interviews, and volunteering as ways to test drive.
Test — Share your prototyped ideas and results with a trusted source and seek their feedback. Share what worked and didn’t, how the process changed your mindset, and your potential next steps.
Taking a problem or roadblock through the process of design thinking allows you to look at it in a new light and develop solutions. Focusing on the process and working through each step. puts actions behind your ideas, and you will gain something valuable from every iteration—whether good or bad.
You have tremendous power to create the life and career you want to live, and design thinking empowers you to transform.