Imagine if you were an executive in one of the industries who experienced massive layoffs, billions in lost revenue, or even complete closure. One of the most visible victims of the pandemic were airlines across the globe and several airlines both in the US and abroad have declared bankruptcy. Following closely behind are the Cruise Line Industry, Movies, Retail, Hospitality, Restaurants, Casinos, Meat Processing and Production, Performing Arts, Gyms and Amusement Parks, Commercial Fishing and Dentists.
These industries are attempting to bounce back, but all have made major changes, cut costs wherever possible (sometimes in the C-suite), and are now facing vaccination mandates which is causing additional decreases in the already limited talent pool. Add to that the current supply chain issues which are severely limiting basic operations and growth. These supply chain issues, compounded by the labor shortage and pandemic are impacting global operations in most industries. This is causing companies to make very difficult decisions, which may very well impact your career and future.
You don’t want to think about career advancement, when you have just been notified your job has been eliminated as part of a major cutback, or that your industry is on the verge of extinction. Ask yourself a very important question, “Are you rethinking how you position yourself to advance your career?” You noticed I didn’t say within your current industry because that may not be the case. As the industries mentioned earlier were victims of the pandemic, you had other industries which flourished.
What worked even two years ago is no longer effective in this ever-changing business environment.
In fact, when you change jobs throughout your career you are more marketable, increase your compensation package, and are sought after because you’ve shown the ability to take risks, prosper in different environments and cultures, and have enhanced your expertise. View yourself as “Your Name, Inc.” Keeping your skills and expertise current has replaced job security.
I’ve written 15 courses for LinkedIn Learning and track their data. Most people who accept a new position update their LinkedIn Profile and are open to discuss other opportunities within 48 hours. These individuals are not conducting an active job search but, are passively open to hear about opportunities which represent career advancement.
Most executives will not end up retiring from their current employer, which is another reason to proactively take control of “Your Name, Inc.” It’s important to be prepared for career changes because they can be orchestrated by you or can happen to you! You are all extremely busy, but you must take time to network and position yourself for your next opportunity.
In prior articles I’ve written for ExecuNet, I addressed the importance of networking and positioning yourself to be contacted by executive recruiters. If you did not get a chance to read them, they are posted on the ExecuNet site. Having your credentials in the hands of an executive recruiter is often the best passive way to conduct a job search, while you focus your current goals and objectives. Take time to identify a recruiter who has a track record of success in helping people at your level advance in their career.
Next, review your inner circle of friends. I was once told by a coach that the quickest way to elevate my level of success was to change the five people, I hung around with most. This coach then asked me to think of the friends I hung around with most. He wanted me to ask myself two questions. 1) Was I the teacher or student? 2) Did I earn more or less than my friends? If I was the teacher and earned more than my friends, I needed to surround myself with people who were more successful than myself and could teach me what they’ve learned.
It is no coincidence that very successful people and thought leaders live in the same neighborhood, take similar vacations, attend the same events, join the same associations, belong to the same groups, etc. When you associate with people more successful than you, it causes you to get out of your comfort zone and up your game. These people are also very willing to share information and contacts. The same holds true for your career. You may be the CEO of a very successful company, but then realize the advantages of becoming the CEO of a Global Company.
You can’t control the economy, your Board of Directors, the supply chain shortage, the talent shortage, individuals who refuse to be vaccinated, unrealistic expectations from employees or clients, but you can control how you react and often it’s best to choose not to react. Focus on the things you can control which is also how you take control of your career, your future, and the legacy you leave.
You are also the CEO of “Your Name, Inc.” and should commit to a lifetime of learning and development to consistently improve your marketability. Next, identify the most successful people you know, in any occupation and make them part of your immediate circle. Update your LinkedIn Profile and join groups that are supported by others with your credentials and be willing to share and help others. Embrace the reality that the only job security you have is your ability to continually improve your expertise. This will ensure that when the time comes for a career move, you have the right connections, you are prepared, and as a result will continue to advance, grow, and prosper.
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