January 2017

Creating Professional Resilience

What goes through your mind when you hear that someone has needed CPR? Words like Critical – Traumatic – Life-Altering? In the medical world, CPR (cardiopulminary resuscitation) is an amazing technique that saves lives and gives hope to people who have experienced a serious medical issue.
People who have benefited from medical CPR for an acute event caused by poor health frequently make comments like:
  • It was a wake-up call
  • I never thought it could happen to me.
  • I’m going to do things a lot differently in the future.
There are many similarities between these comments and the ones we hear from people who have suffered an “acute” career event.  Loss of employment may be the result of restructuring, downsizing, reduction in force, etc., that has nothing to do with individual performance.  Nevertheless, the job is gone and these folks need to rethink how to take care of their careers, how to recover, and how to rebuild their strength.
Just as medical CPR can breathe life into bodies, there are things we can all do to improve our career health in the short and long term.  Whether we are in a transition period or managing the development and maintenance of our career,
Creating Professional Resilience is critical in today’s world.
Did you know…
  • The top 10 jobs in demand in 2012 did not exist in 2004?
  • 1 in 4 workers has been with their current employer for less than a year?
  • US Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10 to 14 jobs by the age of 38?
There has been an upheaval in the world of work and anyone who takes employment or their current skill set for granted runs the risk of getting out of shape and becoming uncompetitive.  On the other hand, anyone who understands the importance of managing their career health for the short and long term, and who proactively takes steps to manage their career health, is giving themselves a professional advantage.
Creating Professional Resilience is about consistently managing your career health and keeping yourself professionally competitive in today’s fast changing world so, if the unexpected happens, your resilience will carry you through to the next step in your career.
The list below contains items or steps that make up your career health. To take your professional resilience “pulse,”  check off all the items and actions below that you have completed or that are in market-ready condition:
Current short- and long-term professional plans
  • Current financial plan
  • Current resume
  • Current bio (if considering consulting or entrepreneurship)
  • Current self-marketing plan
  • Current 30-Second Commercial
  • Membership and active participation in professional associations
  • Regular attendance at networking meetings/events
  • Active network and timely response to networking requests
  • Active “Board of Advisors” relationships
  • Current business cards
  • Active volunteering (optional)
  • Board membership with for-profit or not-for-profit organization (optional)
  • Up to date technical and professional skills
  • Current online brand (LinkedIn profile, blog, website, participant in groups/discussions)
  • Well-developed skills/experiences needed for Plans A, B, and C
Network with thought leaders to identify and consider opportunities for the future, along with changes in industry, trends, and market forces.
Creating Professional Resilience can inject new energy and a sense of direction for your transition and your career.  By focusing on keeping the items on the above checklist current/active you can create and maintain that Professional Resilience. It’s important to look beyond the next job and accept that there may be many “next jobs”, if you are in your next position beyond 3 years, that’s probably the exception to the rule.  To be ready for that, your skills, tools, networks, and brand must always be ready!
When we create and maintain our own Professional Resilience it gives us greater independence.  We are more in control.  We become “knowledge workers” vs. “employees.”
What do we mean by “knowledge workers?”  Being a knowledge worker is a mindset.  A knowledge worker takes his or her skills, abilities and knowledge where they are needed.  The “employee” mindset, by contrast, tends to tie the individual to the current job or employer.  Those who are consistently up-to-date with their skills, tools, networks, etc., will realize that their capabilities are portable.  With the knowledge worker’s mindset, skills and abilities no longer needed or no longer being effectively utilized in one location can be more easily taken to another location where they are needed.  No matter the circumstance, our skills and abilities go where we go.  That is what managing career health and Creating Professional Resilience can do for us.  It makes us more marketable and gives us greater freedom to take our skills and abilities where they will be best utilized.   
The work world will continue to change more rapidly in the future.  The days of being with one company for 15 years or more are over, so job search and career management skills need to be refreshed and updated frequently. We need to maintain our Professional Resilience by staying market ready at all times!  How’s your career health?  Do you need CPR?

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