4 Smart Moves When the Economy Slows
Identifying growth industries, positive trends and hot jobs
are only part of a strategic career management process that
will help you weather a slowdown in the economy. What are
some ways to take control of your career when the economic
outlook is weakening or uncertain?
1. Quietly and confidently communicate your value and
"Recession-proof your job by making sure that others,
above and below, know about your recent achievements,"
is the advice offered on the website of outplacement firm,
Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. When individuals demonstrate
their capabilities, they signal willingness to take on additional
or new responsibilities, or fill in a gap. Doing this quietly
is key. The last thing they want to do is instigate ill will
and an unhealthy competitive climate among co-workers, causing
more problems for the manager. If employees are not already
working to capacity, they better get moving.
2. Expand your network.
Like the other suggestions in this article, marketing
oneself is one of the basic Career
Literacy skills needed to successfully navigate today's
work environment. The more individuals are connected to a
broader community beyond their departments or companies, the
more resilient they will be in their careers.
Smart moves include being strategic in seeking connections
with others, where they give thought to whom they should get
to know based on their career goals. These people will be
the first to hear about new opportunities through their network as the business slowdown begins to reverse. Social networking
websites for professionals such as LinkedIn.com provide an
easy infrastructure for individuals to find each other, keep
in touch, and share information, job opportunities, and prospects
for new business that benefit their current employment situation.
3. Lay the foundation for a move to a new career that
offers more growth and opportunity.
Making great career choices always begins with in-depth self-knowledge.
Before individuals decide to pursue a new occupation, they
are wise to minimize the risk by gauging how well that job
and work environment aligns with their natural talents, interests,
personality and values. They conduct informational
interviews with individuals who are doing the kind of
work in which they are interested. These planful career managers
set up a job shadowing day with these same individuals, spending
a day with them on the job observing what they do and "trying
on" the work environment. This is a good time to find
out educational or training requirements, and begin taking
classes. Career changes take time.
4. Maintain a positive, optimistic attitude in the face
Most people call this "personal character" and it
sets individuals apart from the crowd. In work environments
where budgets are tight, business is declining, and employees
are concerned about their jobs, savvy career managers learn
to see the silver linings in a stormy situation. They see
their role as part of the solution rather than part of the
problem. They know that business is cyclical, and "this
too shall pass." When it does, they are ready.
© Copyright 2008, Career Vision. Article may be reprinted