Is Your #Career in Recovery or Retreat? (All Joking Aside)

Don't be fooled by the sense of false security implied with being employed. This state of being can change in a flash – poof! Suddenly your job can be gone. You, and only you, are in control of your job security. Quit hunkering down under your desk and get proactive! Take charge of your career; begin enjoying your work life again.

The economy has started its recovery – why haven't you? Are you still fooling yourself by hanging onto your job for dear life? According to a recent CNN article, "Take This Job and Tolerate It," the frequency rate of people leaving jobs by choice is close to the lowest point since 2000. American workers are choosing to let fear drive their careers instead of passion. Sounds like the April Fool's joke may be on them this year – and maybe you, too?

Overwhelm from being over-worked and under-paid is not a work life you want to maintain. Instead, start today to find the career where you can be happy and feel appreciated again. Find the career where your values are honored in the workplace, where your mind is stimulated, and your skills are utilized. Find the career where you know in your heart this is where you want to be. Don't be fooled by continuing to believe that your employer will take care of you – that old joke has worn itself out long ago.

Utopia? Not really. It IS possible to attain career and job satisfaction. But this ideal career must first be defined, molded and purposefully pursued. Here a few tips to jump-start your career change process:

  • Make two lists: one is what you do well and the other is what you like to do. Where do these lists intersect? Chances are the clues to your ideal career appear in this intersection.
  • Need more training to qualify for your ideal career? Go get it! No one is ever too old to learn new things. Careers are rapidly changing (I still remember keypunch operators, now long gone from the career landscape). Learn about employment trends so you can see what careers will still be viable 5-10 years from now.
  • Write your resume to attract the ideal employer for your ideal career. Better yet, hire a professional resume writer to craft this resume for you with your input. You need objectivity to determine what's most important to include in this door-opening document. Your own bias can cloud your opinion on relevancy of information.

Still feel stuck in the process? Hire a career coach to be your partner for your career change. Some things are just done faster and better when done with a careers expert who can challenge you, brainstorm with you, offer you resources, and celebrate your successes with you.

On this April Fool's day, what will be your choice? Continue to keep doing nothing (which you know is getting you nowhere) or step onto the playing field by becoming proactive in your career? Stop being fooled by employers' empty promises and uncertain futures – your career belongs to you. Make it what you want it to be!

Wishing you career success in 2010!


SPECIAL NOTE: I am honored to be a member of the Career Collective, a group of career experts who will each month share their advice and tips to enhance the management of your career. Please link to their blog posts below. Your comments are invited and much appreciated. Follow our hashtag, #careercollective, on Twitter, as well as follow everyone's individual tweets that are based this month on an April Fool's Day theme.

Career-Collective-original-small 10 Ways to Tell if Your Job Search is a Joke, @careerealism

April Fool’s Day – Who’s Fooling Who? @MartinBuckland @EliteResumes

If It’s Not You and It’s Not True, You’re Fooling Yourself, @GayleHoward

Don’t Kid Yourself! (The Person You See in the Mirror is a Good Hire),

Avoiding Most Common Blunders, @jobhuntorg


Stop Fooling Yourself about your Job Hunt: Things you may be doing to sabotage yourself, @erinkennedycprw

Same as it ever was, @walterakana

Don’t be fooled. Avoid these, @kat_hansen

Job Seekers: You Are Fooling Yourself If... @barbarasafani

It's not all about you, @DawnBugni

5 thoughts on “Is Your #Career in Recovery or Retreat? (All Joking Aside)”

  1. Love it Meg! Fear can be a significant demotivating influence. No-one is saying everyone should now jump into the unknown and risk family finances and livelihoods now the economy recovers, but staying in a job that is stultifying is a bad thing if you spend one day longer in it than you have to! You are right with your advice for jobseekers to analyse what they love and do what needs to be done to qualify for it and go get it!

  2. Meg:
    Sometimes the grass isn’t greener. I’m reading “Linchpin” and Seth Godin talks about a woman who showed up for her new job, which was actually her old job with a new spin on it. She approached her tasks and involvement with more interest. As a result, she found herself engaged and eventually promoted to a real new job within the company.
    Fear, distrust, lack of vision are harmful. Your advice to make a list of likes and dislikes is great! It forces the individual to take control and engage!

  3. Gayle – Not only does fear affect you emotionally, but it can cause physical harm as it seeks release from your body, e.g., high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, migraines, and much more.

  4. Meg,
    I can’t agree more. One of the most painful experiences that I have ever had is an experience in which I worked in a job that seemed like the right fit on paper but felt like writing with my non-dominant hand in practice. So many people live out their work lives in that way–not fun!
    Your call to take action if you are in the wrong job–or as our friend Hannah Morgan points out “the simple act of approaching your existing job with a new spin on it”–is excellent and savvy advice. Thank you!

  5. This article is just so relevant to what I am experiencing with my clients and friends. In the past, I have often advised clients to find another job that suits them better if they were dissatisfied in their present job. First to see if they could come to some resolution to make the challenges they were dealing with more tolerable; second to fire up the resume and call on everyone you know to see about finding another job and make no apologies for it.
    However, given this economy, I strongly encourage people to first see what they can do within their workplace to address difficulties or learn to tolerate them better; and then do a quiet job search to see about finding another job before jumping ship. The risk of being out of work for an unknown length of time is just too great for many to take at this time.
    I have also heard of a few recruiting firms that will not even consider any job candidates who are presently unemployed for any position they are hiring for. I am not even sure if this is legal, because it is definitely a form of discrimination.
    Thank you so much for doing what you do.
    great post! 🙂


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