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The Best Way To Prepare Your Career For An Economic Downturn

By Adam Neyenhuys | CFO, Leadership, Promotion, Career Management, Neyenhuys |
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Isaac Newton once said, “We build too many walls and not enough bridges”.

 

Smart guy.

 

More recently, other smart guys have made some pretty sombre predictions about the possibility of an economic downturn in the near future. 

 

What are your thoughts? 

 

Are you prepared for a worse-case scenario? 

If you are one of the minority who can answer the following questions with a resounding “Yes!” then you can stop reading after this paragraph, go back to your desk, and polish up your collection of “Best Employee” awards.

 

  • Is my network is so effective and broad that job opportunities come to me all the time?
  • Do I help people in my network solve problems every day, and will they return the favour with employment if I ever need support?
  • Do I feel “in control” of my career?
  • Do I strive to be the best performer in my chosen area of expertise, and am I confident others rate my performance?
  • Do I have at least two or three mentors that I know will open doors for me when I need them to (and keep me honest with my career decisions)?
  • Am I across the potential risks facing my career and have mitigated them?
  • Do I know that my job is secure even if there is an economic downturn?

 

In times of crisis, it’s true that the strong survive. And if you are running in a high-level, business-focused pack, then you can be sure that you need to be smarter and stronger than the next person when things get competitive.

 

How do you make sure that you are not on the trade-in pile when times get tough?

Here’s our check-list, and yes - it involves building bridges.

 

Get networking

There’s never a better time to start reaching out to people in business, than right now. Find peers in your industry, seek out those that do things a little differently, open a dialogue with people who are currently where you want to be – and then add value where you can. How can you assist them? What problems can you solve for them? Can you expand their network? It is not hard, everyone wants it however some people just aren’t doing it.

 

Get planning

Nothing happens without a plan. Well – nothing beneficial to your career will anyway. Don’t be a drifter, and don’t allow other people to make decisions that impact your future. Have a solid career plan based firmly on who you are, what your values and interests are, and where you want to be. Know what matters to you and make that your priority. Write stuff down. Set goals. 

 

Get mentors

The value of a group of mentors cannot be overstated.  Experience, wisdom, and a keen interest in the health of your career is invaluable on a good day – and essential in a crisis. Remember, you don’t know what you don’t know, but you can be sure that there is someone out there who does. 

To learn more about mentoring, download our Mentor & Mentee Guide

 

Offer value

Few people in business possess purely altruistic personalities. If anything, it is rare. And that it exactly why you will stand out in your team and in business when you practice helping other people. You certainly have to mind your time, and not get overly involved with Susan’s divorce and John’s drinking habits. But getting involved with solving business functional, commercial or strategic problems (and expecting nothing in return) will always be well-received. People like this type or person – fact.

 

Invest in your team

This goes hand-in-hand with offering value and support – but goes a little further. Your team is made up of individuals with their own unique sense of purpose, their own goals, plans and issues. Get to know them, and find out their strengths. Being invested in your team will mean that you can push those who need (and want) pushing, help those who need development, and bring the team to a common goal – and they will love you for it. 

 

Consider this: If the predicted economic Armageddon doesn’t arrive, then you will still be in a powerful position with a solid career foundation and a thrilling future to look forward to. A future that you have created yourself.

Building bridges can be tough.

 

Connecting with the right people, finding mentors, and planning the perfect career is tricky at the best of times. Wouldn’t it be great to have a pool of like-minded professionals who all want the same thing – to see each other succeed? 

 

That’s exactly what you will find when you join us at The Outperformer. Visit us at www.theoutperformer.co and get involved with other professionals who want to succeed.

If you want to see how prepared and healthy your career is, take our Career Health Check (Click Here). It takes about 10-15 minutes and will uncover how well you are managing your career. Enjoy!

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