Career Direction: Discarded and Cast Adrift in a Challenging Economy...

Do you feel discarded and cast adrift in your job-search?
......No lighthouse to guide the way

How can you navigate the turbulent waters of this challenging economy?
Should you take any JOB which comes along?
How can you find your Career Path and Career Vision?
  • This is not the time to settle. If you have been job searching for a long-time and have lost your way or feel directionless, I would recommend re-examining your Career Path. During these challenging times, you will need to have a clear career-vision which is very detailed. Your career vision is like a lighthouse, which keeps you from shipwrecking and keeps you on course. It will help you recognize opportunities or career beacons and will keep you on track towards your true, Career Path.
As a professional counselor, I’ve worked with clients in career and life transitions for 15 years and seen some very challenging times. I worked as a College Career Advisor in an IT and Business College, during the technology boom and later when the bubble burst. During the boom years, employers would call our College Career Services and hire entire classes of students. Students were hired before they even graduated, without real interviews, just the recommendation of their Career Advisors. With so many IT start-ups, employers were eager to snap up the talent, before their competition did. During this period, we often had students, who were in IT, since it was the next Gold Rush, but who didn’t have a passion for the industry. Sometimes, job seekers made reckless career decisions, for short-terms gain.

When the IT bubble burst, people's poor career-decisions, resurfaced. Only those who were truly passionate about the industry, stayed and weathered the turbulent economy. People who successfully navigated this rocky period were willing to be more flexible in their career expectations, salary, commute times etc. They had a clear career vision and clear career path. When the bubble burst, job seekers thought that IT would never recover, but it has. Those who weathered the storm and stayed true to their career values are now reaping the rewards. IT careers were just ranked in the top 10 best careers for 2009. Similarly, job seekers in the fields of finance, banking, real-estate, construction may now feel that their industries will never recover – but they will.

In difficult times people are tempted to make hasty decisions out of fear. They may lose sight of who they are. They may feel compelled to “take ANY job." Remember, each job you take, sets you up for your next job. The life-span of an average North American job is between 2-3 years. In some industries it can be as short as 18 months! Employers will accept a candidate who is changing a career function, but staying in the same industry or changing an industry but staying in the same function, but not both ( in one career move). Especially in this economy, employers are very conservative and demand a proven track record, to even consider a candidate for a callback.

A poor career choice, a hasty choice, may take years to overcome. I know this first-hand, since I work with clients every day, who need to re-examine their career vision. They begin to ask themselves, “how did I get here?” They want to set a clear Career Path which is in line with their skills, knowledge and interests. They want to transition out of their previous industry, sector or functional role.

See a reputable Career Counselor, get a professional Career Assessment done and work with your counselor to re-chart a Career Path. It is very important that you chose a reliable assessment which has been validated on your demographic. ie: if you are a business professional or MBA, you need to use a Career Assessment which was tested on thousands of MBA's and was created to explore the most common MBA Career choices. Your Counselor can advise you on testing instruments. There are a lot of poorly constructed, online “tests” – using the word loosely, which will leave you more confused than before. Taking the test is only 30% of the process, your advisor will guide you through the other 70%, the values sorting, exploration and goal-setting process.

Ensure that you chart a clear course, with a Career Vision and a well-constructed Career Action Plan. This current period is another career-cycle, albeit a tsunami-like cycle. There will be an economic recovery. Will you be prepared?
Author: © 2009/2010 - All Rights Reserved - Sharon Cohen, MA,CPRP. Career Counselor and Career Transition Specialist. "Virtual Career Counseling: helping business professionals, reach their career potential!"

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  1. Tzongyih wrote:

    I liked this.
    Thanks for your sharing, good one.

    S. Cohen (author) wrote:

    Stay true to your career passions and career strengths. You will be much happier in the long-run.

  2. New York Jobs 1 wrote:

    I believe far more American jobs are lost through offshoring than through H1B visas; it's just that the H1Bs are easier to legislate.

    thank you
    Annoyance Epitome wrote:

    Amendments such as Sanders' are a reaction to American companies dumping workers in favor or foreigners in general, not just H1B visa recipients.

    I believe far more American jobs are lost through offshoring than through H1B visas; it's just that the H1Bs are easier to legislate.

    Zararina wrote:

    This book is very useful in searching for top corporations and get you hired:

    "Top People in Charge at Major Corporations"
    When your working at one of the top corporations, you are assured of a stable job and great benefits.

    S. Cohen (author) wrote:

    This recession has shown us all that the world economy is actually one large, inter-connected economy.

    Companies are competing for Global talent, regardless of nationality. I'd advocate for less borders and more freedom for workers to live and work internationally.