These days lots of folks are positive that only negative things are happening around them. We’re all seeing worrisome news headlines which doesn’t help. I’ve started asking myself “What is going on here? Are we watching historic changes unfolding?”
I don’t have a crystal ball to see how things will end up, but I do have experience in knowing that being despondent and negative isn’t the answer.
I have friends, clients and colleagues who seem to be experiencing a sense of general unease in the world and who can blame them? Few people look forward to rising interest rates, flat incomes, or stalled careers. Not to mention the increased, menacing, hateful events where innocent people are being threatened, hurt or killed while doing ordinary things.
Now people are reluctant to meet for lunch in a busy market when suddenly it could become the scene of a mass shooting. One client called me the other day and said “ It’s bad enough that I don’t’ feel encouraged or positive about my job or the trajectory of my career, or how much money I will have for my kids university, but now I can’t even feel safe while I’m walking to work?”
As an HR Consultant, Career Coach, and parent I try hard to make the best out of challenging situations. With that said, I agree that some things are hard to put a positive spin on. But, being positive or staying optimistic aren’t passive words to me. Rather, I have seen how times of disappointment and challenge can really be a signal to act and keep trying to make changes … however small. That’s a practical way to demonstrate positivity. It’s how I believe we should attempt to be in our personal and professional lives no matter what’s going on around us.
History Repeats Itself
During that recent phone call with my client, I could hear her sighs of helplessness – “Has it always been this bad?” Now for me, that is a broad question and not one I can fully address in a blog. But, one thing most of us understand about history is that people have faced dark times periodically – socially and economically. We also know from history that pendulums swing in ways that favour some people more than others. Then it seems to swing once again.
Often, we need to ride things out. But what can we do in the meantime? How can we make progress within our own sphere of influence, especially at work? Here’s a list of things to actually do so that when opportunities are available, you’re better prepared to rise to the occasion.
Strategies for Taking Steps Toward Progress at Work:
- Try to do new/different things so that over time you have a broader and deeper work history
- Say yes to challenging opportunities at work, these help you stretch …
- Online learning is a terrific way to learn new things, often for free/cheaply
- Podcasts, audiobooks, or regular books depending on your preference can expose you to new information and opportunities to develop
- Volunteering in roles that are different from what you’re able to do/demonstrate at work
- Read the writing on the wall, if it looks like things may not end well, plan …
- Be ready for future opportunities. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile.
- Talk to others about your desire to find new opportunities (paid and volunteer) and ask them for introductions
- When you have interviews, prepare carefully!
Here are a few links to past blogs that may help you stay focused on things that you can do to make incremental steps toward a better future:
- Mentorship: A Predictor Of Success
- Incidental Networking And The Hidden Value Of A Diverse Network
- Corporate Scapegoats And Sacrificial Lambs … What To Do If You Become One
- Nuanced Career Advice … Why Professionals Need It The Most
- Cover Letters 101: What’s Your Cover Story?
- The Fine Line Between Being Fired And Being Retired … Before You’re Ready
- Jobs Can Be Hard To Get … And Even Harder To Keep Without Training
Do you need help navigating the world of work? Contact Dr. Helen today for a free and confidential initial consultation by phone, email, or via direct message on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. If something urgent comes up, she’s also available by a voice or video on Magnifi, an expertise-on-demand app.
More than career coaching, it’s career psychology®.
I/O Advisory Services – Building Resilient Careers and Organizations.
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