Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Control Your Career Path

The current market gyrations and the resulting uncertainty in the halls of Corporate America remind me again of the magnitude of the shift in corporate job security.  Long, long gone are the days of lifetime employment, but when you stand up in your cubicle and look around, it is amazing the extent to which so many within corporations act as though that continues to be the reality.  If you are one of those, wake yourself up before your company does it for you.

I'm not trying to be gloom-and-doom here, but millions of people will spend the coming (or maybe even past) weeks and months worried about their futures with their current employer.  The uncertainty will paralyze some as they await their fate.  A victim mentality can take hold if you allow it.  Now is the time for you to manage your own career.  

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I will also remind you that the difference between small business and corporate job security is not quite what it is made out to be.  Small business opportunities are typically more constant than corporate hiring, which can swing wildly between over-hiring and over-firing. 

Spend some focused time on your network and your story to unearth small business opportunities.  Market uncertainty also opens the spectrum of job opportunities to discuss, including consulting engagements which can be financially beneficial to both parties if set up properly.  Be open-minded in your approach with small businesses.  You are rarely replying to a job posting in this space.  The options abound for those open to the discussions -- sweat equity into a business, management help needed, support to expand into new businesses, consulting, etc.  

David Martin, a friend of mine that runs Spanda Group, wrote an article titled "Action Begets Action."  That is never more true than in owning your own career progression.  Avoid the victim mentality and become a doer.  And as that old cat on tree branch says, "Hang in there."  

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