Your Career: Don’t Wait For A Crisis


2By Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC

Many people I speak to come to me for help and guidance AFTER something has happened to them in their career. Maybe they lost their job. Or, they are burnt out and exhausted from working hard. Maybe they are having trouble with a boss or co-worker that they can’t seem to handle any longer. In most cases, they have a problem that has been going on for some time. For many; years.

By the time they seek a coach, they are in panic mode. They are confused and unable to act or make decisions. They are afraid. The uncertainty of their situation weighs on them heavily. Their minds are filled with their problem and a solution seems unobtainable or far away.

Why do people wait for a crisis before they work on their career? Maybe because the crisis happened slowly, and it was hard to recognize the right moment to ask for help. Or, the crisis happened suddenly without warning. Either way, planning and a clear path are vital to both maintaining your career, and being prepared if a crisis strikes.

So How Do You Prepare In Advance For A Crisis In Your Career? Follow These 3 Steps Below.

1. Recognize Warning Signals

For every client that has told me they had a problem in their career, most of the time what happened (or was happening) did not come out of the blue. Rarely, do you not see things coming. They chose to ignore the red flags or did not want to deal with them. Or, they hoped the problem would go away on its own.

What you don’t face, persists, and in many cases, comes back to bite you. Every one of these clients has said to me that they wished they had acted sooner. Learn from their experiences. Don’t let the same thing happen to you. If something does not feel right, it is not right. Listen to your gut. It does not lie.

2. Map Out A Plan

When you have trouble in your career, you feel overwhelmed. Most people think more clearly and perform better when they are not overwhelmed, so develop your plan during a period of relative calm. It just may be the clam before the storm.

Ask yourself what would be the next logical step in your career. Start to map out what that is as well as the steps you will take to get there. Are there gaps you can start to fill now such as taking classes, volunteering your time, or projects you can work on at your current job or at home? Don’t wait until something has happens and then you have to quickly and under duress figure out what to do. Have plan A (and Plan B) ready to go. If something does happen, you are ready to go.

3. Have A Good Network In Place Now

Most people don’t like to reach out for help after something happens. They worry how they will be judged, they don’t like to ask for favors, or they feel bad reconnecting after a long gap in time. So, build up your network now. When things are good, you can be there for people who need your help. You can build relationships or meet with people with no agenda attached. You can brand yourself and be known with no pressure attached. This way if something does happen, the relationships are already strong and in place. You will be tapping into people who know you well versus those who have not heard from you in years. You will go to people who want to help you because you have been helpful. This give and take creates a winning combination.

So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!

Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, is the President of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc. a successful career, life, and mentor coaching company that works with Senior Executives, Vice Presidents, and Managers who are looking for new career opportunities or seek to become more productive in their current role. She is the author of “Coach Yourself To A New Career”, “Don’t Blow It! The Right Words For The Right Job” and “How To Feel Great At Work Everyday.” 

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