October 2011 Newsletter

Myth: My Career Stops Growing When the Economy Starts Shrinking

October 2011 newsletter image

It seems like every day we are bombarded with more bad news about jobs and economic growth during this time of recession. I recently read in Reldan Nadler’s book, Leading with Emotional IntelligenceLeading with Emotional Intelligence, that from 2007 to 2009 alone, the U.S. lost 8.4 million jobs. That is four times the net losses in the economic recession of the 1980’s. I guess that is why newspapers like the Los Angeles Times are calling it “The Great RecessionThe Great Recession.”

 I do not have to tell you what that means for our local economy because we are all living and working in it every day. Shrinking bonuses, shrinking benefits, shrinking budgets and a shrinking workforce. In all this shrinking, our business and careers cannot possibly continue growing, right? Wrong!


RecessionRecession” may describe the state of the economy; but it is up to you whether or not it will determine the state of your career.  

 Now do not misunderstand meme. I am no PollyannaPollyanna when it comes to the situation that companies and employees are facing today. As the owner of Success Trek, I too have felt the effects of economic recession. As a business consultant, I am in the trenches every day with executives, managers and team members who are also struggling to do more with less opportunity and resources. With layoffs and hiring freezes plaguing the industry and economies around the world, upward mobility seems virtually non-existent. However, just because you cannot move up, does not mean you cannot move forward. How? By continuing to invest in yourself and your professional development.  

 You are your greatest asset; and an effective way to increase your professional and personal capital in today’s volatile workplace is to do the two most important things a financial planner would advise you to do:

1) Determine Your Personal and Business Career Goals  

Before you make any investment, you should understand why you are investing and what you hope to achieve. Having a clear understanding of your business career goals is the only way you can determine how best to allocate your resources. But during a recession in your industry, business and career, when you are struggling to make ends meet or even just to make it through the day, it is easy to forget about your goals. And that puts you in danger of becoming disengaged – because if you are not working towards a goal; you are just working.

Corporate Leadership Council research shows that since 2008, the number of highly disengaged employees has doubled, from 1 in 10 to 1 in 5. At Success Trek, we do not want you to let your business and career become another failed statistic! You can keep your business and career growing by investing the time it takes to re-evaluate and accomplish your business and career goals. Write them down and put them where you can see them every day so you can stay in touch with what drives you.


2) Diversify Your Personal and Business Career Portfolio  
In order to minimize risk when investing in your business and your career, it is critical that you allocate your resources across a wide variety of investment streams. Warren Buffet once said, “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield”. In order to maximize your career growth during a recession, you have to take a look at the past, and not repeat history. This means that you should resist the temptation to “hunker down” and wait for things to get better. Instead, look forward by reaching out and making them better. Attend networking events in order to build business relationshipsbuild business relationships within and outside of your field. Seek out webinars and “lunch and learns” in order to expand your knowledge base and your skill sets. Work towards becoming certified in the areas of your business and career that are aligned with your personal and professional goals. While your options for changing jobs may be limited during the recession, your opportunities for changing yourself are not.


Investing in the midst of a business and economic recession sounds like bad advice. But when you are investing in yourself and the workplace instead of the marketplace, you are growing a business and career that will provide a lifetime of positive returns.


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