We are living in a fast-paced, unstable time period where things change swiftly and dramatically. The corporate world is more dynamic and chaotic than ever. In our parents’ or grandparents’ generations, they would accept a job and hold onto it throughout the entire duration of their careers. However, those days are over and done with. The advancement of technology, globalization and the corporate view that employees are disposable have all changed the game. We can no longer view our careers as safe and sacrosanct. You can be sitting in your office chair this morning, happy and satisfied. Then, two weeks later, there’s a corporate-wide reorganization and you’re shown the door. You can be replaced by technology or a less-experienced, lower-cost employee. Your job could be moved to another country or your role could be deemed no longer relevant or required. The only constant is change.
It’s critically important to start a plan to prepare for your future. It’s career self-sabotage to believe that things will stay the same and that you’ll confidently climb up the corporate ladder. It’s career malpractice to act like an ostrich, stick your head in the ground, hope for the best and ignore the reality of the changes happening around you. You need to be bold, confident and aggressive in managing your career in the face of uncertainty. It’s not easy nor is it pleasant to think about, but you must do it.
Here is how to start:
- You need to change your mindset on several fronts. We all derive a sense of status from our career, the company we work for and job title. When you sit down at a family dinner or meet new people, you enjoy a little humble brag about what you do for a living. While that’s fine, you’ll need to divorce your ego attachment to your current career. If and when the time comes that you no longer work for the company or your type of job isn’t in demand, you have to be mentally and emotionally ready to walk away. You can’t let your entire identity be wrapped up in your job. When that happens, you’re destroyed when you no longer hold the high-status position with a prestigious top-tier corporation. Being too attached to the prestige of your career and all the trappings of success and power can hamper your ability to pivot toward something new, when it needs to be done.