Even though the economy is starting to show signs of recovery, we’re still faced with a lot of uncertainty. For most of us, it’s a challenge to find new ways to advance personally and professionally. The unemployed are learning that traditional methods of finding work are more difficult and expensive than ever. People are confused and frustrated, and they’re hungry for stability. They want to stop feeling afraid for their careers.
Here are five ways to remain optimistic so that you can begin creating a road map for your career:
1. Take the time to reflect and accept reality … in all aspects of your life.
During times of uncertainty it’s important to step back and reflect in order to correct your course. Stop comparing yourself with others. Everyone has their own challenges, so everyone’s solutions are different. Accept what you’ve learned, the mistakes you’ve made, and the advancements you have achieved. Think about who has really influenced your journey: you or others? This time around, make sure that your career is a path that you have defined for yourself. Focus on your passion and the success stories you have been most proud of.
2. Learn what successful companies are doing … differently.
Get closer to those who are changing the business world and study their tendencies. Focus on two or three companies that excite you and begin researching what they are doing. Once you are prepared, request an onsite meeting. Experience the culture, the people and the energy. Learn about what makes the company and its people successful. Imagine what it would feel like to work for the organization. You will know right away once you have stepped into the workplace environment that agrees with you most.
3. Create and learn how to sell … your own job description.
In the new workplace, every employee is viewed as a profit centre. Whether you are in sales or not, you must begin to rethink your job description to include revenue-generating activities. If your job is in a department that is a cost centre, find creative ways of making sure that it heavily influences the bottom line. Create your own job description, and learn how to sell it.
4. Change your network ... entirely.
Can your current network help you correct the course of your career? If not, begin to reshape it. Focus on developing a career network that can support your new attitude and mindset. Associate yourself with people who can provide you fresh perspectives. I have seen too many people lose job opportunities because they took bad advice from someone who envied them. Remember, your network is not about quantity, but quality, and you should be continuously evaluating these relationships and the motives behind them.
5. Execute your plan ... daily.
Work your plan every day and enjoy the process. Start now, because it takes time and patience. Make it fun by focusing on the fact that you are getting closer to your career goals. Embracing this discipline will prepare you to anticipate crises and manage change in the future.
The rules of the business world are changing around us, and in difficult times, it’s easy to feel like you’re not in control. But if you focus on defining your own path, learning new things, building supportive relationships, and taking small steps every day, you’ll soon feel like you’re navigating your own way through this uncertain landscape.