Comfortable in Your Current Position? Uncomfortable Life Lessons to Safeguard Your CareerComfortable in Your Current Position? Uncomfortable Life Lessons to Safeguard Your Career https://c-suitenetwork.com/advisors/wp-content/themes/csadvisore/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Carol Kaemmerer https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b1aa199a77fe137b6a69f44d18cb2130?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Comfortable in Your Current Position? Uncomfortable Life Lessons to Safeguard Your Career
If you are perfectly satisfied with your job and your company and have no plans to seek other employment any time soon, congratulations. This article is for you.
Because, here’s the thing: you are not totally in control of your future.
While you may plan to stay with your company for many more years, your company may have other plans. In response to the Covid-changed market, companies may discontinue product lines, outsource functional areas, or abandon previously served markets. The restructuring will require fewer employees. The action may be swift and unexpected. One day you may be doing your best work and the next you are handed the ubiquitous white cardboard box and given an hour to gather your personal items before being escorted out by security.
Of course, I’m not saying that this will happen to you – as a matter of fact, I truly hope that it doesn’t. But what I can predict with certainty is that if you are not prepared to hit the ground running and you find yourself without a job, it will take a LOT more time to get prepared for a search than you think it will. My certainty comes both from my own experience with unexpected job loss (2011) and the work I have done with C-Suite executives and senior leaders since then to prepare them to enter a job search or their next endeavor following an unexpected job loss.
I offer these personal life lessons learned through my own unanticipated job loss in the hope that you will take action now to become better prepared.
Creating and communicating your personal brand online is imperative for the health of your career. Do it now.
I’m not saying that a powerful LinkedIn profile will save your job. If your company is eliminating whole departments, they are not making case-by-case decisions about who will stay and who will go. However, what I do know is that if you have done the work to understand your personal brand – the things you want to be known for and your differentiators – and you’ve articulated your brand online on LinkedIn, you will be able to rebound much more quickly than if you haven’t.
One thing few people anticipate is the extent to which an unexpected job loss delivers a visceral blow to one’s self-esteem. You simply cannot effectively communicate your personal brand powerfully when you are feeling low, and a LinkedIn profile that is weak and underdeveloped will not be an asset in your job search when you need it most.
A vibrant professional network outside your company is essential to your career. Build it now.
You’re too busy, you say. That was my problem, too. Sure, I had lots of friends and colleagues within the company, but when everyone from the department is out on the street, suddenly you are all competitors. Everyone knows networking is the top way people find senior-level positions, but creating a network from scratch when you really need one is hard to do. Build a network of professional friends outside your current company now so that you’ll have people who are ready to cheer you up and cheer you on when you need that. Be a resource to others, too.
Your same skills and experiences can be applied in new ways in different settings to bring you joy.
I assumed that I had the very best job for me in the world, and that the absence of that job meant the absence of joy in my life going forward. I wallowed in the misery of this untruth for many months. Fortunately, I learned that instead, one’s skills and experiences are like the pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope. Each time we turn the wheel on the kaleidoscope, the picture that appears could be even more beautiful than the last one. Test out the hypothesis that your skills are portable by using some of your core skills in a volunteer capacity. Begin to expand your mind to the alternative ways you can find joy and add value by applying your skills. Yes, the job that I did before my job loss was perfect for me then. However, the business I have created for myself is perfect for me now. My skills are the same; only the context and content are different.
You are bigger than any job you hold. You are not your job. You are worthy.
Believe this now. You ARE bigger than any job you hold.
Many of us intertwine our own identity and our own brand with our job. This is dangerous thinking; the corollary to this reasoning is that if we lose our position, we have lost ourselves. What despair this causes! Understanding the difference between ourselves and our job is important; it allows us to move forward, past the real but temporary grief of job loss.
Does it take work to optimize your LinkedIn profile, create a robust professional network, and understand that our skills and ourselves are distinct from our job? You bet it does. But the return on investment is high: by doing this work, you will create a firm foundation for the continuity of your career and your mental health that no one can take away.
If you are a C-Suite executive or senior leader who would like to improve your LinkedIn profile and presence, I can make it easy for you. I have a track record of working effectively with C-Suite executives and senior leaders to create LinkedIn profiles and other executive-branded materials that help them show up as authentically and powerfully online as they do in person. This way, they can attract the talent they want to hire, increase their visibility and influence, and control their career. I also mentor clients on LinkedIn etiquette and effective posting strategies to ensure their success. Let me help you use this essential business tool effectively. Contact me through my website: www.carolkaemmerer.com or profile: www.linkedin.com/in/carolkaemmerer.
Other resources for you and your team:
For a virtual or in-person presentation on personal branding via LinkedIn, contact me. I am a member of the National Speakers Association, a Certified Virtual Presenter, and an Advisor to the C-Suite Network.
My NEW book Second Edition: LinkedIn for the Savvy Executive: Promote Your Brand with Authenticity, Tact and Power is available through online booksellers. For quantity discount or signed copies, contact me directly.
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