This morning I received a life coaching request from a 28-yr-old, working in the area of professional specialty that match his academic degrees.
In response to the question: Why are you looking for a change, he wrote: “I am very unhappy with what I do. I am usually a passionate person and like for what I do to have meaning and to be of value to me. In my current job, I am not able to achieve these things. I seem to be on the sidelines of my own life, waiting for it to begin.”
While this is a season for shopping, partying, and spending fun time with family members, this year-end is also likely to be a time for anxiously listening for company rumors and resume polishing. For some of you the news is already in – downsizing and the accompanying layoffs often come in more of a flurry than any snowstorm as bosses look to trim their fixed costs in a last-minute attempt to have a fresh start for a more profitable New Year. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas more than 100,000 positions were slashed in December in two of the last three years. And it seems that for every person who loses their job, there are 1,000 who are worried about it.
Don’t get caught unprepared. You should see yourself as self-employed in some sense – even if you have only one client currently. That will remove the feeling of being trapped and vulnerable. In addition:
- Re-assess your direction. Are you on track, or do you need a re-alignment?
- Recognize that a change (even if unexpected or unwelcome) often wakes up old dreams. What were the dreams you had as a child? What are those recurring themes in the things you dream of doing?
- Stay informed. You should be reading magazines like Fast Company, INC, and Entrepreneur to see the best new ideas being introduced. Don’t count on the knowledge you got in college 20 years ago to insure your value today.
- Make age and experience your assets. The experience you have today should make you more valuable as a candidate than what you could offer 15-20 years ago.
- Be ready to document your value. Be able to describe unique areas of competence you have refined and developed.
- Be willing to look at all the options available to you. Perhaps you’ve been too narrow in looking at ways to put legs on your dreams.
Welcome this end-of-year self-evaluation. Maybe you’re ready to get off “the sidelines” and begin living the life you were put here to live.