I just got a notification that my latest cellphone upgrade was available. As I was considering whether I really needed to upgrade or not, I thought about the people behind the scenes creating these tech advances and how 30 years ago, many of these positions probably didn’t even exist.

It made me think about what it takes to stay relevant in the world and as I thought about it, I realized that it really all boils down to paying attention and being willing to step out of your comfort zone.

I work with professionals every day that are making career transitions and one thing that impresses me about many of them is that they are paying attention on multiple levels.

Paying attention to themselves. Even though most of them have completed bachelors’ and master’s degrees in other industries, they noted that they were not fully satisfied with what they were doing and decided to take classes or get involved with projects that exposed them to other areas of interest that they find exciting and motivating.

They are clearly showing that they are willing to take risks. They do not think to themselves, “I invested all this money in these degrees and so I had better stick with it.” Rather they listen to the desires within their heart and begin taking steps to get trained and credentialed in their new field.

They are paying attention to what is going in the world. They are taking steps now to switch into an industry that is going to set them up for long term success. This makes them pioneers which can be a harder transition because of all the unknowns.

As you think about making a career transition, you need to pay attention as well – to your inner desires as well as to the outward changes that are happening in the world.

Are you paying attention to how your gifts and talents impact the world now as well as in the future?