Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Staying flexible in your career provides some of the same benefits as staying physically flexible as one moves through adulthood: the ability to adapt to sudden changes, reducing stress when we have to make a might effort, and improves our performance in everything we do. The last two generations have demonstrated that having one Plan A and sticking with it for life - with no thought to what our Plan B, C, or D might look like - is a surefire recipe for joining the unemployment line if your industry faces major changes and you haven’t stayed on top of what they are.
Beverly Jones, an executive coach who is the author of “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+,” was quoted on Forbes.com as saying that career resilience was not a gift some people are born with, but a skill we can develop.
You can build resilience. Resilient people aren’t necessarily born with a unique ability to bounce back or forge ahead. Rather, they are ordinary folks who learn behaviors, attitudes and work patterns that allow them to keep going and growing, even in difficult or uncertain times. By learning to become more resilient you can bring new power, direction and energy to your career. You can be more comfortable in an environment where nothing stays the same and the old ways may no longer work. When you gain resilience, you can create a more successful career path, and at the same time find greater enjoyment in the rest of your life.
This month’s links focus on how to “stretch” in your vocation - whether that’s by learning about the most-wanted job skills of the future, how to jump from your present job into one that’s just a little beyond you, or bounce back from working for a company that’s made negative headlines. Read on and get ready to succeed!
Career specialist Kathi Miller-Miller provides a template for charting the best course of action when you’ve found a job you’re crazy excited about … but which you don’t quite have all the required or preferred qualifications. She’s realistic (acknowledging that taking the job and trying to figure it out later can either “lead to fantastic growth … or a train wreck”) but also lays out a couple of ways to approach this issue that are ethical and could be successful. Most of us have come across a “stretch job” during a career search that sets our imaginations and hearts on fire … this post could help you figure out a practical path to landing the position of your dreams.
If the previous link discussed stretching into one’s future, this one encourages bending back into your distant past and remembering the roots of your career dreams. This post on the Exporter site collects and shares a number of Facebook social posts that readers contributed about their job plans when they were 10 (or younger — there are some really adorable baby shots on here) and how that job relates to the work they are doing now. Some links are obvious, but it’s interesting to see how some people connect their childhood fantasy occupations with their current gig. The post is a celebration of Experteer’s 10th anniversary, and if you use the hashtags #Experteer and #MakeAWish, the site will make a contribution to the charity Make-A-Wish.
If you’ve been in the workplace for more than a year or two, you already know that “hot skills” evolve over time. This post reminds us that as many as one-third of all workforce skills will have changed five years from now and offers five skills that are projected to be vital in the workplace in 2021.
The hot five skills are:
- Idea Sex (a fancy term for creativity or the ability to combine ideas to create something entirely new - and awesome)
- Curiosity (learning how to ask important questions and exploring the world around us)
- Platform Building (the ability to be clear getting clear of what we’re good at, what drives us and knowing where we want to contribute)
- Change resilience (becoming willing to try new things so that we’re effectively recession-proof)
- Constructing bridges (reaching out to others in different industries, locations, or with different points of view)
Overall, this post is a great primer on the soft skills to practice now, in order to be prepared for your career not too far down the road.
It’s a situation that no one, and I mean NO ONE, wants to be in: Your employer is rocked with a scandal that ends up all over the media and later (or maybe not later!) you have to figure out how to talk about your association with the tainted employer.
The team of Harvard Business Review authors who penned this brief article offer useful advice on legal consequences, business ethics, emotional stigma and trauma and several other topics. I especially like what they have to say about the importance of cultivating a strong external network of professional associates (a good idea even if you’re not saddled with this sort of job crisis):
Develop strong external networks. An extensive network and other types of social capital can help mitigate the effects of organizational stigma. Stigmas are most salient when judging unknown individuals; the stigma, and hence its effects, become less important other relationships jointly paint a consistent profile of virtue. A stigmatized manager can appear less of a risk in the job market if there are multiple credible arbiters to vouch for his or her integrity.
~ Liz Massey, Managing Editor, ASU Alumni Association