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Managing a Predictable Career in Uncertain Times

Living through uncertain times should not be an uphill task for your career if you understand the times, and how to manage your career in a predictable way and steer it clear of potential icebergs that are capable of upsetting and torpedoing it.

Uncertain times are here. These are times of economic crisis.Times of ambiguity. Times when there are palpable fears and workers in both public and private sectors tend to get paranoid, confused and panic about the future of their careers.

Workers in the public sectors have not been paid their salaries for a period of time ranging from two to six months in some States across the country, and the likelihood of being paid gets dimmer as the macroeconomics dynamics become more unpredictable.

The various industries in the private sector are confronted with operational difficulties, budget cuts, layoffs, and potential business shutdown.

Clouds of uncertainties are shifting and settling over the business landscape such that employees, more than entrepreneurs and employers, worry not only about their jobs but their careers.

Fear, worry, anxiety and stress over your careers are paralyzing. If you give in to any of these symptoms, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage your career. However, you can gain mastery over your career and make it more predictable in these uncertain times if you learn a few principles to become the “Lord and Master” of your career.

Your career is not the job you do. It is not the position you occupy or office you hold. Your career is your profession. It is your vocational calling. It is your life’s chosen work or occupation that you have been trained to do or become in the course of educational and/or vocational training, and attained workplace experience to earn an income and a living.

Your career is your going concern.

This is where gaining mastery over a predicable career in uncertain times begin. You have to be able to distinguish between your career and the job you are doing or office you occupy presently. You may lose your job through layoffs but you cannot lose your career. You may lose your position because your company folds up, but you cannot lose your career.

You are an engineer by professional calling and a manager by the office you hold. If you company folds up, you cease to be a manger but you still remain an engineer and can take your career and professional expertise to other companies who may require your services. So, deal with your fears.

What is my career? Are you a lawyer? Web designer, pilot, police officer, diplomat or politician to mention but a few? Whatever your career, you have no need for fears and anxiety once you realize that you cannot lose your career even when you lose your job.

Uncertain times are not all doomsday scenarios. The good news is that they are equally times of unprecedented opportunities. Uncertain times bring a paradigm of change, growth and prosperity.They create breakthrough change if you learn how to interact with them. They initiate a disruption that turns your direction from the usual and familiar way into the unknown.

You should embrace this disruption. It will not lead you into the abyss but break off into a new direction from the static state and re-launch your career into a new line of work.

When you lose your job. When it appears that your company may lay you off. When you get to a cross road of your career. When you are faced with mid-life crisis.You can insulate your career into a formidable and predicable one if you model a positive behaviour.You should chin up. It is not the end of life. The sun will shine again, and your career will blossom.

Now, it is time to have a plan of action for your career. If you already have a blueprint you are following to monitor your career, it is high time you reviewed it.

You should think long term: that is what your career is all about. Jobs and employment may be short-term, but careers are not. Where do you see your career two years from now? Five years? Ten years? Fifteen years? Twenty years?

Plan your career with the information available at your disposal now.

You may want to go back to school. Your skill-sets may require sharpening. You need to learn new leadership tools, techniques and processes to make you a better professional. If you are gradually becoming a professional dinosaur, your company may not have a Jurassic Park to display you.

Going back to school to upgrade your skills in business, information technology and social media is a guarantee to re-launch your career. You do not need to quit your job; you can choose correspondence, distant learning or online options, if you cannot afford to quit your job to learn.

You should become an intraprenuer. You have a career and are not ready to start your own business. You should go and discuss with your boss and prove your readiness to take on more responsibilities as an internal consultant.

You should become a catalyst, business facilitator, change agent or quality champion. This will make you indispensable to your employer.

You should join a professional organization to widen your network of expertise and upscale your chances of employability. Your vocational calling will have a professional organization, and you should join it.

If you are not active as a member, you should become one. You are able to network better in a professional setting and advertise your expertise free-of-charge to potential hirers.

Most times, job vacancies are not advertised in the newspapers but through networks of professionals who are able to recommend individuals they know and trust.

You should get a career support. You may need counseling if you are troubled in your career. You need information, career assessment and counseling from experts who are qualified to guide you through the maze of confusion and infuse clarity and focus into your career.

The only language your employer understands is the value you are adding or can add to their organization. Your career will stabilize in a turbulent economy when you do not panic but proactively seek out information to launch a plan of action for your career and unlock opportunities for growth and prosperity in the uncertain times ecosystem.

Author: Babatunde Fajimi

This article was originally published on Knowledge Exchange Centre, Lekki, Lagos via  http://newsletter.knowledgeexchangecentre.com/

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