Think about your current or ideal job (let us hope they're the same thing, but if not pick one). Write down the major trends you've seen in this current or ideal career for as long as you can remember (even before you started doing it). For instance, in the world of video games I've seen trends like:
- Social Media
- Everything Must Be Multiplayer
- Everything Must Be a First-Person Shooter
- Everything Must Be Set in World Wor II or an analogue
- We Need a Mascot Like Mario or Sonic
- Skirting the Edge of Controversy
- Fishing Minigame In Everything
- Point And Click Adventure Mania
. . . and so on.
Now look at those trends you listed. Which of them turned out to have legs and last – and which ones didn't last or do you expect to flame out?
Now which of these affected or could affect your career? Are you prepared for the repercussions? How can they affect you – positively and negatively?
Keeping track of trends (and their short-attention span siblings, fads) is important to do in your current job or your dream careers. They will affect you – woe to the professional who forgets what is a fad and what is a trend, and what is past and what is future.
So try this exercise now and then, just in case.
(And for that matter, I think World War II games aren't going away, they've achieved a kind of mythology. But I've noted the Search for New Mascots tends to flame out very easy so I'm always wary of them. . .)
– Steven Savage