If you are fortunate, it comes on like the gradual changing of the seasons. For our friends at iHeartMedia, ViacomCBS, Chicago Tribune, Spirit or Macy's it can come like a thief in the night.
Winter is coming.
We all need to be prepared for change in our career especially when we get blindsided by a reduction in force, closure, or sale of our companies, stations, or business units. We will all encounter Winter in our career and the one thing we can control is the severity and duration.
There are three things critical to managing unanticipated change in our career:
Career Toolbox: These are your skills, experience, and education. Everything you do today and completed yesterday is in some way transferable to a new role somewhere else. The larger the toolbox, the more opportunities available. Your toolbox either needs to be very wide (diverse) or it can also be very deep (specialized). If you build a very deeper toolbox, you had better choose the industry and job wisely.
Personal Branding: You have a brand, you just aren't recognizing and managing it. It's what you are 'know for' among your industry peers or managers. Your differentiators and your unique value. You must be able to articulate it and deliver it at a moment's notice and that's called your 'Elevator Pitch'. That pitch is super simple. It's 'who I am, what I've done, where I'm headed' in a 4-5 sentences. It's what will open future doors.
Living within your means. You MUST be focused on accumulating a network of people in your life not 'stuff'. Do you really NEED a iPhone 11 or a Rover? You lose your job tomorrow and need to sell these things to pay your bills they'll be worth half what you paid for them. On the other hand, your professional network will instantly become four or five-fold more valuable than it was yesterday.
In the end, this article is written not for those that need it most today. It is written for those that are going to need it tomorrow and there is no easy path when it comes to being prepared for the winter in your career. The best place to start is by living within your means. The sooner you start, the more flexibility and options you'll have for the balance of your career.
Be Bold. Be Great. Be Timeless. #TalentBlvd