The Problem with Career Complacency

In the past three weeks, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend.

I have been contacted by a number of people who have been let go by their companies.

Sadly, the global pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy and the job market.

But, it’s even worse than that.

The scary part is that the people who were let go are the best of the best. They are veterans, they have degrees from top universities, and they have decades of leadership experience. They are the last people I would expect to be looking for work right now.

It is a powerful reminder that none of our jobs are safe.

Unfortunately, I understand this situation all too well.

In 2014, I found myself out of a job through no fault of my own. I was the vice president of a major corporation and had more than 15 years of dedicated service. One morning, I came into work like every other day and by that afternoon, I was out of work.

No warning. No heads up. Nothing.

I was left shocked and confused. I couldn’t understand how a company I had worked so hard for could just toss me aside like that. Especially, with all my knowledge, education, experience, and a history of getting things done.

But that’s the thing I learned. None of us are safe!

That experience taught me some powerful lessons.

And, if you’re lucky enough to still be employed during this crisis, you need to pay attention. You need to understand that your company doesn’t care about you or your career.

Your company doesn’t care about you or your career. Click To Tweet

I’m sorry if this is a shock to you but you alone are responsible for managing your career.

So, here are four simple rules to manage your career in this crisis:

The first rule is this – don’t be complacent.

Don’t assume that your years of hard work and dedication will mean anything when they start making a spreadsheet of “heads” to be eliminated. You are not that special to them. You are a number on a spreadsheet.

The second rule is – don’t let your connections go stale.

Don’t be that person who only calls people when they need something. Stay in regular communication with your network. And, if you have a small network, you need to grow it…starting today.

Understand this – your next job will come from someone you know or someone who they know. You’re not getting a job by posting a resume on a job board.

Your next job will come from someone you know or someone who they know. Click To Tweet

The third rule is – build your personal brand.

When I was let go, I was a nobody outside my company. No one knew who I was or what I stood for.  Don’t be like I was. You should have a personal website and you should be writing regularly about what you know and showcasing your skills. Just keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date isn’t good enough anymore.

The fourth rule is – build multiple streams of income.

When I was let go, my salary was my only source of income. All my eggs were in that basket. Don’t do this. Use side hustles to develop other sources of income that you can turn to if things go belly up.

Who knows? One of your side hustles may be your next career.

One of the people who helped me through my career transition was John O’Connor.

He helped me step up my game in terms of networking and personal branding. I recently had him on my podcast and we talked about how to manage your career during a crisis.

Everyone needs to listen to this episode.

This global pandemic should be a wakeup call for you and your career. Don’t wait until you are out of work before you take action.

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P.S. I’m asked all the time if I provide signed copies of my book? The answer is yes. Click here and press the large orange button for signed copies.

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