Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

Accommodating and thriving in the midst of change in jobs and careers 2 – finding and taking a first positive step forward in the face of job loss and career disruption

Posted in career development, job search, job search and career development by Timothy Platt on May 6, 2013

This is my second posting in a series on change and even disruptive change as it can reshape our work lives and our careers (see Part 1: putting change in perspective.)

At the end of Part 1 I stated that I would continue its line of discussion here by noting and discussing one of the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal for moving forward past loss: having something positive to move towards.

• Having a positive goal to aim for and finding and taking a step forward that would at least incrementally help move us toward it, can be our most powerful tool in seeing and moving beyond a loss of a job or even of an entire career path and into a new one.
• But putting that in perspective and making it work for us, we still have to acknowledge and deal with our loss of what was and of what we had hoped to be, in finding that new path and that new next step forward. So I will also discuss that side of this complex of issues too.

Start with the step forward and with taking the steps needed to find what it should be for you.

• If you are out of work and looking, pursue a Plan B job search as discussed in Part 1 of this series, and in detail in a separate series (see my first Guide directory page, postings 56-72.) And remember that when you are out of work, your job search should be a full time job and beginning immediately – before you get caught up in self-doubt or depression and while your networking contacts with your recent work colleagues are still fresh, and before any job loss benefits you are receiving have run out. Timing is crucial here, and both so you can search as someone who is only briefly and even transiently out of work, and so you can do so with a more positive and proactively thinking attitude.
• If you are still working but see your employer business or your position with it as risk (e.g. from concerns that the business will undergo layoffs or downsizings) then begin Plan B job searching as an actively, consistently pursued part time job and with a goal of being ready no matter what happens. Here, remember that if a round of downsizings does happen and you are not caught up in it, a second might follow with you included in that.
• If your job is secure where you are now, as far as the business you are working for is concerned, remember that the industry it belongs to and the markets it serves can change – and even if they remain strong, your current work and work life might not be the best one for you. So still at the very least think through and cultivate your career path, and think and plan accordingly (see the series Career Changes, Career Transitions at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 2, postings 285-305.)
• And in any event and for any of these more generic scenarios, career plan and professionally network – and both to better know what your work context actually is, and to be better prepared for its challenges and opportunities (see my series: Jumpstarting Your Networking at the top of the Social Networking and Business directory page.)

This is crucially important:

• Our work and our careers and work lives both create and depend upon a very real sense of momentum. This momentum keeps us organized and moving forward in a purposeful and prioritized manner. And when we lose that momentum, as can all to easily happen if we lose our job we have to create new sources of direction, motivation and momentum if we are to move forward again – or even know what direction is “forward” for us.

So this posting is in fact all about cultivating a sense of direction and momentum – and one that comes from within us and not simply from the outside framework of a job and its leadership we happen to be professionally involved with.

I am going to turn in my next series installment to the issues of being externally or internally motivated, and of cultivating a mindset according to which we actively create our own futures and our own destinies – and that we are not simply passive participants in our work or in our lives. As a general statement this might seem trite, but in day to day practice we all too easily lose track of this. Meanwhile, you can find this and related postings and series at my Guide to Effective Job Search and Career Development – 2 and at my first Guide directory page on Job Search and Career Development.

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