Things We Wish We Had Known

Things We Wish We Had Known

Things We Wish We Had Known

The positive growth turned in by the American economy in the third quarter of this year suggests that maybe, just maybe this Great Recession is now in our rear view mirror. As it fades away, of course, the tales will begin about what we did during this terrible time. While recounting those legends is surely important, so too is sharing the insights we’ve acquired from our experience.

Cataclysmic events often alter our perceptions of the world around us. That was true during the Great Depression, and it will be true as we emerge from this Great Recession, as well. Some of these new views are opinions about what happened and why, but others are actually lessons that we’ve learned about how best to survive and prosper. They’re the things we wish we had known before the event occurred because that knowledge would have undoubtedly enabled us to fare better than we did.

I think the sharing of this wisdom is good for us-it’s cathartic to acknowledge that we’ve earned an advanced degree in the school of hard knocks-but it’s even more helpful for our kids and grandkids. In a very real sense, we are giving them a gift, a roadmap for the future that may help them avoid the dead ends and dangerous potholes they are sure to encounter.

Each of us has our own view of the lessons we should pass along. For me, the following four insights are among the most important. They are realizations everyone must have in order to chart a successful and fulfilling career in the 21st Century world of work.

Seeking job security makes you vulnerable. In today’s turbulent economy, employers have no idea what will happen tomorrow or the day after. They may promise you job security, but they can’t deliver it. So, counting on it is likely to put you out for the count. A far better objective is career security-the ability to stay employed in a job of your choosing regardless of the condition of any single employer or the economy as a whole. Unlike job security, career security is a state you create for yourself. You don’t have to rely on the good will of some employer. You anticipate the changes in your career-the timing of a move from one boss or organization to another, the refocusing or reskilling that’s necessary to accommodate shifts in your industry or profession-and then you plan and execute those changes so they benefit you.

Recognition is something you give yourself. Most managers and supervisors mean well, but if you wait for them to recognize your accomplishments at work, you’re likely to be disappointed. Some have the social skills of a brick and others are too worried about their own security to take care of yours. That’s why it’s important for you to keep track of your own “career victories.” Sure, it takes a little effort to maintain a contemporaneous record of what you’ve done and how well you’ve done it, but that account will give you more satisfaction than most managers ever will. Don’t just write it out, however; also review it regularly. Take the time to remember what you’ve done and pat yourself on the back when you deserve it or give yourself a little counseling if you’ve let yourself down.

Working tirelessly is a sure way to get tired. Sadly, many people in today’s world of work find themselves wired up with no place to go. They’ve learned the hard way that staying continuously in contact with the office doesn’t protect you. It exhausts you. We’re all worried about the H1N1 flu becoming a pandemic, but workaholism already is. If you have any doubt about that, look left and right the next time you’re lying on the beach. Every other person will be glued to their Blackberry or iPhone checking their email. The impact of such behavior on both individual performance and wellbeing is already acute and likely to get worse. In a knowledge-based economy, your worth is measured not by your connectivity, but by your contribution. And, your contribution suffers when you don’t give your mind and body a chance to rest.

Taking care of your career is the best way to take care of you. The conventional approach to career self-management has been to get an annual checkup and leave it at that. Historically, we paid attention to our career just once each year-during our performance appraisal and salary review. That approach was dangerous then; today, it’s a sure-fire way to induce career cardiac arrest or what most of us call unemployment. The only safe course in a workplace as turbulent as the one we now have is to develop career fitness the same way you develop physical fitness. You have to commit yourself to building up the strength, endurance and reach of your career every single day. Yes, that’s a lot of work, but it’s also a smart investment. You spend one-third or more of your day in your profession, craft or trade, and you deserve an experience during that time that is every bit as good as the rest of your life.

We have acquired many insights from our experience over the past two years, but these four maxims are the key lessons we have learned. They are the things we wish we had known so they are now the things we want others to know.

Thanks for reading,

Peter

Visit me at Weddles.com/WorkStrong

P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s Newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.

The Da Vinci Code of Careers

It’s no mystery to Amazon.

The online giant is offering a 34% discount on Peter Weddle’s new book Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System.

Why? Because this book is the Da Vinci Code of careers.

You’ll learn the secrets to finding a great job in a lousy economy. And, you’ll break the code on how to build a prosperous career in turbulent times.

So, don’t wait for some lost symbol to show you the way. Click here to visit Amazon.com and get Work Strong today!

Or, you can place your order at WEDDLE’s by calling 203.964.1888 or clicking here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!

Our Featured Books

The Best Guides to the Best Job Boards Period

Get these job search bestsellers today:

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This Gold Standard of guides to the Web’s 100,000+ job boards and career portals has been completely updated so you can find the best sites for you and your career.

    This edition of the Guide, our 9th, introduces an entirely new format: The Top 100, our pick of the most effective job boards and career portals on the Web, and the Best & the Rest, a directory of over 10,000 sites organized by career field, industry and geographic focus. There’s no better way to know which way to go on the Web!

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Association Web Sites. Employers often post their best jobs at the Web-sites of local, state, regional or national professional associations. This one-of-a-kind Guide enables you to determine which of those associations have the job search resources you need to connect with those employers.

    The Association Guide lists over 3,000 associations by the career field, industry or location in which they specialize and indicates whether they have a job database, a resume database and/or a discussion area for professional networking. It is the only book of its kind in print and the only way to find the “hidden job market” on the Web!

  • How can you get these amazing resources? Click here to reach our online bookstore or call 203.964.1888 to order your copies of these truly unique job search guides.

    And don’t forget to share. Get the Guides for your spouse or partner, your sons and daughters, even your working mother or father. These books will help them find their dream job, as well. So, don’t delay; get your WEDDLE’s Guides today!

    To Find the Right Job, Find the Real You First

    If you’re searching for more meaning in your career, if you want the time you spend on-the-job to be more fulfilling and rewarding for you, then read Peter Weddle’s new book Recognizing Richard Rabbit. Amazon described it as “a gentle way to figure out your dreams.”

    Recognizing Richard Rabbit is a fable for adults from 22 to 62 and older. It recounts the tale of some forest animals that try to help one of their friends, a rabbit that’s stuck in his hole. Their efforts to free him are laced with humor and insight and ultimately open a pathway to the secret of authentic living. To being your own true self.

    How does that happen? Unlike traditional fables, this story unfolds in two synchronized parts: one in fiction-the fable, the other in nonfiction-a parallel self-interview. In essence, you are invited to tap both the creative and the analytic sides of your brain-to probe the whole of your inherent talent-so you can climb out of whatever hole you may have fallen in and become the person you were meant to be.

    Why is that so important? Because whether you are a mid-career professional or a first time job seeker, whether you are a senior executive or a skilled tradesperson, whether you are actively looking for a job or just keeping your options open, the key to success is a sure understanding of who you are and what you stand for.

    So, make sure you know the authentic You. Get your copy of Recognizing Richard Rabbit today. All you have to do is call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.1888 or click here. Don’t delay. Get Recognizing Richard Rabbit right away.

    A Special Notice for Career Counselors & Coaches

    Are you looking for a unique and compelling way to differentiate your practice?

    Would you like to be able to attract a broader array of clients?

    Well, now there’s a way for you to accomplish both of those goals. How? With WEDDLE’s certification program in Career Fitness.

    Based on Peter Weddle’s new book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, it uses the metaphor of physical fitness to introduce both the principles of successful career self-management in the 21st Century and a one-of-a-kind regimen of daily, weekly and monthly activities to put those principles to work in individual careers. There’s no other system like it, and the Career Fitness Pro (CFP) certification enables you to offer it to your clients.

    For more information, email Peter Weddle at peter@weddles.com or call him at 203.964.1888. This program is open only to experienced career counselors and coaches.

    Our Featured Job Board

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.

    There are 50,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to a successful online job search, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for your specific employment objective. WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide profiles The Top 100 employment sites on the Web today and provides The Best & the Rest, a listing of over 10,000 such sites worldwide. It’s all of the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the best opportunities for you. For example:

    CareerBuilder.com

    http://www.careerbuilder.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Number of jobs: 1,000,000+

    Salary levels of jobs: Not Reported

    Offer a job agent: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely

    Restrictions on who can post: Anyone

    Other services for job seekers: Discussion forum, Assessment instruments, Career information, Links to other sites with career information

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

    The Da Vinci Code of Careers

    It’s no mystery to Amazon.

    The online giant is offering a 34% discount on Peter Weddle’s new book Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System.

    Why? Because this book is the Da Vinci Code of careers.

    You’ll learn the secrets to finding a great job in a lousy economy. And, you’ll break the code on how to build a prosperous career in turbulent times.

    So, don’t wait for some lost symbol to show you the way. Click here to visit Amazon.com and get Work Strong today!

    Or, you can place your order at WEDDLE’s by calling 203.964.1888 or clicking here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!