You and I find ourselves in the midst of uncertain times. The economy is in tatters, people who have been unemployed for months even years are desperate to find a job, and millions of home are in foreclosure.
If you’re looking for one, a job is a big deal. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have a job, you might be wondering in the back of your mind, ‘am I going to keep it?’
I was talking to my friend James about career choices a while ago. I asked him about his.
“Career!” He said, “I just need a job. I used to think I had a career, but I got laid off 18 months ago. I’m 51 years old. I’ve been looking for work ever since. I just need a damn job!”
The he went on to say how much he missed the old days. Things just seemed so out of control these days….
That surprised me. James is a hardheaded businessman. A realist—but he still fostered that terrible illusion. When things got better he’d be back in control.
The deal is of course; we’ve never been in complete control of our circumstances. NEVER. Like James, I used to think life was a path, a road traveled that ended in a successful future (whatever that means). You just need to work hard, catch a couple of breaks and presto you were on your way.
Boy was I wrong.
I have a friend who loves to sail. I have been on his boat and it’s easy to see why he loves it. It’s scary and exhilarating. Like riding on the back of an immense and powerful animal. I asked him once about steering and the wind. He told me it wasn’t the wind that determines the course it was the guy who trimmed the sails.
Out of control and yet in control.
That’s exactly what life is like.
Many folks look for a job like it’s a gift from a generous employer.
You hear pundits stating, ‘businesses have loads of money, record high profits. It’s time for them to break loose and start hiring.’
It would be laughable if it weren’t so sadly dumb. If you have a business and you are profitable. Why hire? It’s when you have a PROBLEM or a CHALLENGE, that you need somebody to fix it or solve it
I remember hearing Earl Nightingale say,” I once interviewed people looking to fill a position I had. Most had a list of things they had done, only rarely did they focus on what they could do for me”.
That rare person who has that focus, owns a valuable street-smart survival skill.
A career is a body of skills and knowledge that one acquires and nurtures and sells to customers who call themselves employers.
That shift to a new way thinking about yourself and your livelihood may seem a small thing. One of those “positive thinking” attitudes that are so popular nowadays. But it’s huge.
It enables you to trim your sails to weather the economy’s periodic storms.
If you’re locked in the old way of thinking and doing– you’re gonna get what you always got.