Most of us know what we have to do to maintain our physical health. Eat well, Exercise regularly. Drink in moderation, if at all. Get plenty of sleep. See your physician for an exam from time-to-time (and more regularly as you age).
There’s no rocket science involved, no secret formula you have to discover. You just have to muster the commitment to pay attention to your health and then follow through. But we’re talking about humans here, so a few of us manage to do it all, but most of us get around to only some of it, and even then, only sporadically.
That’s not especially smart, but it’s seldom very dangerous (at least until middle age). Our bodies are remarkably resilient with even a modicum of care. The same can’t be said about our careers. Fail to take care of your career in today’s hyper kinetic workplace, and you’re likely to suffer career cardiac arrest – or what most of us call unemployment – in a very short period of time.
That’s a relatively new development. If you began your career more than fifteen years ago, you came into the workforce at a time when you didn’t have to worry about your career’s health. You had not one, but two safety nets. Most employers were still willing to manage your career for you, and when they didn’t or didn’t do it well, the job market was still a relatively benign environment.
Today, both of those safety nets have been shredded. So, the danger we face in today’s constantly morphing workplace is actually two fold. First, there is the potential threat that comes from not knowing how to care for our career or not doing it very well. And second, there is the threat created by ignorance, by not realizing that we’re now responsible for the health of our career and that we have to work at it every single day.
Our careers are not like our bodies. They are not resilient. They will not remain fit for years and years with only scant attention. Indeed, the opposite is true. Careers will decline and rapidly without intensive and continuous care. That’s the fundamental motivation for Career Activism. Career activists don’t want their careers to expire before they’ve had a chance to enjoy them.
Thanks for reading,