I have started reading Bring Your “A” Game by Robert J. McGovern*, founder and former CEO of CareerBuilder. The first paragraph really surprised me. This is a book on how to develop your career, but it was published in 2005.
When the history books of the early twenty-first century are written, this time may be viewed as one of the most employee favorable periods, ever. Our economy is approaching a period of unprecedented opportunity for young people like you.
Ummm, say that again. Not exactly a fortune teller considering what we have just been through. But it was the popular mindset at the time. The majority of people thought that we would continue to experience the prosperity that we as a national economy had become accustomed to.
I do feel that the oncoming new year may be the beginning of a new growth spurt in our economy. (Almost scared to put that on record.) A lot of what I hope to document through this blog next year is how our economy will grow and prosper and how individuals are and can be taking advantage of these opportunities. But it is never a given. There are so many events that may influence what we see happen in 2013 and beyond:
- The continued effects of the “Arab Spring” on countries in the Middle East.
- The decline of the economy in China.
- The squabbles in Washington.
- The changes in our tax structure.
- The various economic problems of the nations in Europe.
- The unknowable weather events like Sandy and this year’s drought in America’s mid-section. (Well. Isn’t that what you call your breadbasket.)
So what does this mean, I should hide in bed with the covers pulled over my head? (Only if it is Monday.)
No, but it does mean that you should be intentional about your career and business plans. Look at what is going on around you and determine how this could influence your job or your business in the future. Be proactive AND flexible.
And hang on, 2013 should be one exciting year.
*This is neither a review nor a recommendation. I have just started reading it so I will hold off judgment until I finish it. Also, I am reading it in a book with paper pages and everything. “Old school.”
I am always looking for good advice to help us meet our goals. This article by Jeff Weiner gives three pieces of advice that Jeff says influences him in his decisions. These may be good guides as you make decisions in how to reach your goals.
For the last one, I would also add, do you want to make a difference in people’s lives?
Finally, from me, aim high. Don’t let success be a source of your fear.
It seems like every year about this time, I begin to hear the same false myth that is very common with job seekers. I am not sure if it is due to the colder weather or the holiday commercials. (By the way, I am so glad that we are exchanging the ubiquitous campaign ads for holiday commercials. Especially the Belks commercial that really brings back memories.) But I get the same comment whether they are out of work or seeking a new position. “I can take the holidays off because no one hires during the holidays.”
As I mentioned, this is TERRIBLE advice to go by. Please see the attached link for some GOOD advice about how the holidays may be the PERFECT time for you to advance your job search. (Get Hired During The Holiday Season? Yes, You Can!)
I think that there are two big reasons why you should use the holidays to seek that next position. The holidays, through family get-togethers, company parties, or other get-togethers, allow you to run into people that you may otherwise not meet. Prepare yourself for these opportunities. Compose and practice your elevator speech and prepare a personal business card that has your name, contact information (I would advise your email address), and title or profession, but does not promote your company. This is for you, not your employer, especially if you do not have one or if you are exploring changing careers.
The second reason is to just keep your momentum up. Application processes can take a long time, don’t lift of the gas. Making contacts with people who can help network you into that company you desire can take time and are often done when you are not expecting.
Distinctive Documents mentions a third reason. That is you may face less competition during the holidays. Use that to your benefit. The holidays are when many people lose their focus when it comes to careers. Being prepared and having a plan can help you use the hustle and bustle of the holidays to your advantage.
Now I do think there is a reason in favor of taking the holidays off. It is if you are just burned out. Seeking a job, jumping through hoops, and riding the ups and downs can take a lot of physical and emotional energy. The holidays can be a great time to enjoy the season and time with the family. A time to recharge your batteries. But I would advise that this would be an exception.
I hope you have a great holiday season. (No it is never too early to talk about the holidays.) Use it to your advantage and maybe a new career will be what you find under the tree this year.