Get To Work: With Suzy Welch

Suzy Welch: The unexpected advice this CEO gives all job-seekers, no matter their field

Job-seekers often consider the "future" in terms of answering the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?"

But according to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch, there's another crucial, future-focused element of planning a career today that many employees may be overlooking entirely. Welch tells CNBC Make It that in a recent interview, IAC CEO Joey Levin shared the advice that he gives to every job-seeker, no matter their field: "Organize your job search around where your industry will be in five years."

CNBC contributor Suzy Welch.
CNBC contributor Suzy Welch.

"That's right," says Welch. "What's happening in your industry right now is pretty much over, given the pace of technological change."

She says that although it's impossible to predict what will happen five or 10 years from now, analysts in every industry talk about "the almost foreseeable future, and how products in each space will likely be designed, made, sold, distributed and purchased."

Levin's main point, Welch emphasizes, is to "look for jobs in those burgeoning places."

"Those nascent opportunities may be few and far between at companies with very little money," she says, "but getting in early can position you for a long run of career growth and show just how forward-looking, innovative and bold you are."

Though this advice is particularly relevant to those working in ever-changing fields related to tech, Welch says Levin's recommendation is useful to anyone, in any industry. For example, if you're a museum curator, Levin says, "art is going to be sold, displayed, talked about and distributed differently in five years." Therefore, "your job search should start out with finding out how, and going after the jobs that are just being born."

"We tend to ooh and aah," Welch says, over the first 1,000 employees at top companies like Google and Facebook. Levin's advice "is all about finding a way into that league."

To do so, says Welch, "you just have to look beyond the horizon and organize your journey to get there first."

Suzy Welch is the co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute and a noted business journalist, TV commentator and public speaker. Think you need Suzy to fix your career? Email her at gettowork@cnbc.com.

Video by Beatriz Bajuelos Castillo

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