Economic troubles make career planning more difficult. Since November 2009, America has lost 7.2 million jobs with the unemployment rate topping 10%.
Companies have shed 11,000 workers from their payroll. State agencies have had to layoff or furlough workers. Millions of Americans are now waiting longer for food stamps, unemployment checks, and disability payments.
Margaret Simms of the Urban Institute notes, “The length of the recession clearly has put a strain on the resources that states bring to bear.”
Therefore, our lives continue to unravel as things we depend on disintegrate before our eyes.
An economic crisis and an uncertain future require individuals to explore new personal strategies. For many people, happiness means more than having a job. According to a Yankelovich Monitor’s study in 1997, only 25% of adults said “a lot of money” signified success and accomplishment. Unfortunately, many individuals work in organizations that don’t stimulate their professional growth.
In my own situation, I’ve kept my primary job but created my own business venture. This decision started my professional development and gave me a competitive edge in the market.
It doesn’t necessarily mean giving up your current job. However, it does involve a different mental journey. Marsha Sinetar, author of Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow, argues that individuals rarely take the time for introspection: “Most of us think about our jobs or our careers as a means to fulfill responsibilities to families and creditors, to gain more material comforts, and to achieve status and recognition. But we pay a high price for this kind of thinking.”
Therefore, you may need to change directions. These steps include the
following: (a) take a personal assessment of your current work situation;
(b) determine your primary focus; (c) prepare a plan for professional development at your job; (d) decide what you need to do in order to obtain your dream job; (e) weigh the consequences of changing directions; and (f) surround yourself with a positive support system.
Many individuals are rethinking their career situations during this economic crisis. I see a sense of despair encompassing them. How do I stop the drama in my personal life? Sadly, most people don’t know how to get out of this vicious cycle of hopelessness. Individuals should continue to sharpen their skills and never let anyone else decide their future. It appears that few managers are concerned about employee career development.
Therefore, I caution you not to get too comfortable in your jobs while the rest of the nation is going through unprecedented change. This article demonstrated that you can mobilize yourself and take control of your own situation. In fact, it’s a critical step in achieving personal fulfillment and acquiring future wealth. Through this process, you will gain the insight to develop and enhance your skills while pursuing your personal goals and dreams.
About the Columnist:Dr. Daryl Green provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, please visit him at http://nuleadership.wordpress.com/.