Simple Advice for Youngins Pt. 1: Your Media Career = Frogger
I’ve launched this blog at the ripe old age of 40 – please excuse me if I occasionally slip into Middle English – and am almost 20 years into a career that has spanned one of the most fascinating and disruptive eras of media. The transition that began years before but for me coalesced with the publication of Being Digital in 1995 and which continues still has created a environment for those working in this industry that is only consistent in its inconsistency. I’ll be sure to boost my Bounce Rate with other, lengthier posts that tell more of my story but today I wanted to just throw out a quick tip that I think will serve kids well: Your Career = Frogger.
I’ve often heard that “our parents had one job, we’ll have four jobs, our kids will have 10 or 15″. I actually think that in media this is a bit of an understatement such is the degree of upheaval caused by technology; I would argue that workers today are shifting into “kids” gear almost overnight. And while there are great organizations advocating curriculum that will prepare the next generation for this changing environment I think there’s a simple rubric that will come in handy no matter your age: simply imagine yourself as a small amphibian urgently trying to cross a river/road without being squashed by oncoming traffic, eaten by a turtle or swept away by the currents. Luckily this isn’t just metaphor – there’s a video game that lets you practice! Spend the next few hours mastering it and come back (tell your boss it’s research)….
Now, anytime you’re faced with career decisions, summon your inner frog and ask yourself: is that car going to head offscreen before I can hop to the larger truck? that turtle is sinking, can I hop on and off quickly? Most importantly though is that you need to remind yourself that to be in the game is to be:
- constantly moving with great urgency and purpose
- always aware of both long-term goals and short-term tactical maneuvers
- able to recognize that what may be repeating a level is actually progress