In my latest Mentor from Afar podcast, Steve Koenig, VP of Research of the Consumer Technology Association offers significant insight on being a researcher in today’s world.  What is trendcasting? Steve remarks trendcasting encompasses: “surveys, forecasting, identifying and describing in both written and oral communication what trends are there with technology in the marketplace”.  According to Steve, the “so what” of trendcasting is for companies and consumers:

  1. What happened?
  2. What does it mean?
  3. Do I need to do anything about it?

I believe it is essential in today’s world, you pay attention to tech trends and anticipate what that means for your job, field and company.   It may drive a need for more skills, a pivot in a career or simply to be conversant in conversations.

The Path to Be a Researcher

Steve’s path to being the VP of Research at CTA started traditionally, but he used a couple of career hacks to get him to where he is today.  Three components of his career path are:

  1. Education – Included courses in business, psychographics, demographics and statistics
  2. Experience – Steve started at a boutique research firm called “ARS”. 
  3. Networking –  It is important to have a digital “Rolodex” of contacts.

Perhaps what Steve commented the most on during the podcast was his work as Senior Editor at Computer Retail week and the lessons he learned from his boss and mentor, Phil Magne.   Steve obtained he role at Computer Retail Weekly by writing contributing editorials to trade magazines for one year.  That story resonated with me, because I had a similar path, writing a blog for the Enterprise Mobility Forum and then TechTarget.  I think the moral of that “volunteer” work is encompassed in Steve’s Carpe Diem lessons:

  1. Create your own opportunities
  2. Don’t wait for the phone to ring
  3. Be comfortable failing and learn from your mistakes

Lessons like these are spread throughout this podcast.   I encourage you listen to the entire podcast and if you need someone to assist you discover how to succeed in your career, download the Gunschu app and find a coach today!