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May 18 , 2008

Maneuvering Your Career

20 Strategies to Prepare You for Voluntary (or Involuntary) Career Transition


You just lost your job. Your boss called you in and said, “We have to let you go,” or “You’re fired!” What feelings do you have when you read those words? For some of you, you may be ecstatic to get away from your crazy boss. Especially if your boss is an idiot. But even after the initial relief, reality quickly sets in. You have joined the ranks of the unemployed. In today’s world, by the time you hit the unemployment line, it is too late to be prepared. So what’s going on where you work today? Are things all in their place and nothing is changing? Or is the place total chaos? Is there clear direction, or is your leadership working on the latest reorganization, or newest business strategy, or merging, or secretly preparing to be acquired? What is happening in your industry? Is it growing, or is it shrinking? What about your function? Are you currently working on what’s hot, or are you being left behind just to keep the old way working until its death? Are you on the cutting edge, or soon to be on the cutting floor? Does your crazy boss keep you under her thumb, and is she so controlling that you have zero confidence and don’t think you can do anything right? I could go on and on…but you get the idea. Nobody is safe. Everyone is at risk, even you! In my twenty-plus job changes in thirty years, I can honestly say I have been in your shoes. And it hurts! I can barely remember a time when I wasn't looking for my next job. I have experienced just about every type of career transition possible. After being fired from my first job out of college at age twenty-two, the rules I grew up with like “Get a job; keep it for life,” “The boss is always right,” and “Keep your head down and you will be successful” were quickly thrown out. Following in my father’s footsteps of working for one company for thirty years and then retiring was not going to happen. As I have had to maneuver my career, I have been fired multiple times, had my position eliminated multiple times, have quit before getting another job more than once, and had my employer be acquired, merged, closed, and go bankrupt. I have worked for the same employer three different times. And I have been self-employed. As a Senior Human Resources Professional and Professional Coach, I have seen this sad story be repeated over and over again by many people, from both the inside and the outside. What if there were a set of strategies you could follow so you could always be prepared, not just for those times that fit your company or your boss, but for those times when you are ready to make a change, on your schedule, as part of your plan? In this book, I have created a list of twenty such strategies to put you in charge. These strategies will allow you to take control of your job and help you achieve your dreams. No more living in fear, or being stuck, or being a victim in your life because of the whims of your idiot boss. In this book, you will learn the importance of identifying those limiting beliefs and past demons that are holding you back. You will be given permission to break those old rules, just like I did. I will show you how to focus on what you value and how to live your life in freedom and control. We then will review the strategies to get you prepared: Knowing What’s Hot, Learning for Life, Accepting Feedback, and Becoming an Expert. Finally, we will review strategies to ensure you are taking care of what needs taking care of: You! These strategies are Building Your Network, Getting the Payout, Knowing Your Rights, and Giving Back. I describe the strategies by telling you about the real life lessons I experienced, including my run-ins with crazy bosses…. Let’s do this together. If you use this book as a workbook, my hope is you can make progress step-by-step, and by the time you get to Chapter 20, your life will be different. Here’s to putting that crazy boss on notice!
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