Embrace the Uncertainty

Embrace the Uncertainty

These uncertain economic times are enough to make you want to pull the covers over your head and pull a Rip Van Winkle. Slow growth and continued job loss characterize a “new normal” that has so many people on edge waiting for the next shoe to drop. Or kick them in the behind, to be more metaphorically correct.

It is tempting to believe that this new normal will revert back to the much more comfortable old normal. You know, the normal of 5% unemployment and a modicum of job security, as opposed to our 10% unemployment and non-existent security. Maybe it will happen, sooner than later, but maybe it won’t. In either event, I quote the famous anonymous Mafioso in advising you to “fuhget about it.”

Enough hand-wringing already. Worrying about what might happen is a monumental waste of time and energy, both of which are more effectively focused on what could happen in the future of your own design. Worry keeps your head down. When your head is down, you attend to the things that are six inches in front of your face. These things tend to be tactical, short term efforts that challenge neither your imagination, nor your strategic muscle. Funny thing is, most employers decry the lack of creativity in their workforce.

Keeping your head down also prevents you from focusing on the big picture of your career. You fall out of touch with the very friends and critical contacts that are essential elements of the greatest job security weapon in your arsenal, your network. Ironically, keeping your head down is the biggest mistake that people make when facing uncertainty.

I say embrace the uncertainty. Prepare for the possibility that you are not currently employed for life. Nurture your contacts and grow your network. Scan the horizon for the latest developments in your field, or to explore the possibilities for something new, exciting and different. We tend to make our world very small and so possibilities seem limited. Lift up your head. An exciting new future is waiting for you. There, on the horizon.