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Waiting For The Storm? The 5 Minute Career Coach January 10 Update
January 15, 2010

Helping Career Changers Around The World

January 2010 Update



Hello!

Have you got snow?

Here in the UK we are in the midst of one of the longest cold and snowy spells we have had for 20 years (well, that’s what they tell us on the news). It is certainly one of those occasions when I have really appreciated being able to work from home.

Delight or misery?
It has been interesting watching how people respond to the adverse weather. Some are like big kids, enjoying all the fun that snow can bring, appreciating the beauty of a landscape cloaked in white, taking advantage of enforced time off work or school. Others seem to do nothing but grumble, only able to see the problems and difficulties that the snow brings and wishing it would go as soon as possible.

But for most people, once they have got over their initial glee or misery, they just get on with things. Of course, life has to go on and so they set about looking for alternative ways of managing their daily routines, making adjustments, showing flexibility in how things get done and supporting others who are experiencing difficulties.

The snow storm of redundancy
Redundancy like a snow storm? Well there are certainly some interesting parallels.

From time to time I have observed how different people cope with losing their jobs and it seems to be a lot like coping with snowy weather. Most people are shocked by redundancy. It always seems to be a surprise when it really happens, even if the signs have been there for a while. But once the axe has fallen, people seem to divide into two camps. Those who very quickly see it as an opportunity, who find that being freed from the treadmill of their everyday job, they are able to see their working lives with fresh eyes. Then there are those who regard it as a complete disaster, who find the loss of their familiar routine difficult to cope with.

As you might expect, people in the second group take longer to bounce back, but in the end, the majority do find a way forward by adapting and changing. The solution to the blow of redundancy lies in being ready and willing to view yourself and your working life from a new perspective. Yes, it will mean changing your routines and habits, adjusting the way you see yourself, but our adaptability is what has made us such a successful species and it is that strength that helps move people forward in their lives.

What if…?
So think about this one. If you are stuck in a job you hate, ask yourself what you would do if you actually were made redundant. Your first step would probably be one of the two outlined above – delight at being freed or anger at the way fate has treated you badly.

But then what? What steps would you take to adapt and change to meet the challenges of your situation? How would you take advantage of the opportunities redundancy presented you with? What new directions would you explore? If it really happened, you would have to do something, so what might it be?

Why wait?
So now you know what you would do, now you can see that there are practical steps that you could and would take, I have to ask - why wait for the axe to fall or the snowstorm to hit? Why wait for some external event to decide that it is time you had a career change? Why not make that choice yourself, take your career in hand and be the one who controls when you move on?

Will 2010 be the year you take charge?

With best wishes


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