Podcast Ep 46: Self Makers’ Conor Lynch talks about Covid career shock, how careers have become less linear, and how people can proactively shape their future.
In recent weeks we published a survey by Self Makers, a new business headed by entrepreneur Conor Lunch, that found that seven in 10 Irish people were anticipating a new career move in the year ahead, and more than a third (36pc) were planning to start a new venture.
The context of all of this is of course has been the Covid-19 pandemic. Just a year ago many people would have been humming along in their careers quite nicely with no inkling of what lay ahead.
“It’s no longer the case that you just simply get a job and climb the ladder. Careers have become very transient. They’ve become very zigzag”
However, the economic fallout of the Covid crisis resulted in a sudden career shock for many with rising levels of unemployment, temporary layoffs and, unfortunately, many businesses closing altogether.
For many, career plans and goals hit a serious roadblock. As a result, people have been forced to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and make new plans to advance their careers and secure their long-term future.
Getting your life and career on track
Self Makers is a business founded by Lynch on the heels of his decision to sell his previous business Connector to Granite Digital for an undisclosed sumv.
The whole ethos of the business, Lynch explained, has been to help people take control of their future. It turns out he has quite a knack for it and over the course of his own career has helped to foster and direct talent. Most recently he helped two recent graduates from the UK gain practical experience that led to full-time roles back in Britain.
A critical part of the journey he explains, is how people become self-made or navigate their future. It’s a journey we all have to go on.
“How do you establish yourself and become comfortable in your life and your career? If you’re still on the journey you’re a self-maker. It’s about self-belief and self-learning.”
Lynch’s point is the world of careers as we have known them has been gradually eroded from the solid and steady linear path of rising and rising to instead something a little more chaotic, but perhaps more interesting and potentially enriching.
People can have multiple careers within their working lives. They can be entrepreneurs at the start of their careers, in the middle or towards the end. They can be company founders, employers, employees and students at different points.
But in all of this, how do they take control. How do they become self-made?
“It’s no longer the case that you just simply get a job and climb the ladder. Careers have become very transient. They’ve become very zigzag. You can rise to the top or you might be self-employed, or you might be the employer, you might move in and out of those positions. Or you might have a side-hustle. You may have two jobs, or you may have a portfolio of careers.
“Looking back on my own career this is what I was. I didn’t have any way to plan my career. And I thought if I could find a way to distill my learnings from what I’ve been through and try and help other people on their journey, then that could be useful.”
Lynch has form in being prescient about trends. At Connector he was banging the drum about social media long before most people had ever heard of Mark Zuckerberg and social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
With Self Makers, he believes it is about careers education, decision-making and navigating change. “I’ve documented everything and I’ve created two large workbooks and a navigator tool that helps you plan where you’re going and an accelerator to help you get there.
“I’ve created some knowledge products and I’ve developed a web application. I’ve documented my understanding of this whole space. I’ve no intention of going into recruitment but I’d be quite happy to partner with businesses in the recruitment sector.”
In a way Lynch has zeroed in on the learning and development trend that is transcending the corporate world, only unpacking it and repacking it again for individuals who wish to be in command of their own destiny, whatever their present trajectory.
“It’s more in the education space. As well as the workbooks I’m creating an academy series of online videos for blended learning, self-study and help people in short bursts to improve or plan their career, make some progress and monitor the progress. That’s what I’m trying to do.
“I’ve done loads of research on what makes people successful, not on what makes companies successful because that’s been done to death, but I really wanted to focus on the individual. To be successful as an individual, it starts with the person.”
ThinkBusiness recently launched a new way of sharing business stories featuring a wonderful mix of entrepreneurs and business leaders shaping the future. Our podcast series is available on ThinkBusiness every week but also on our channels and via mobile apps on Spotify, SoundCloud, Stitcher and Apple.
By John Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published: 12 February 2021