A Career Shopping Spree even in a slump

Gratuitous spending, ostentatious luxuries and hedonistic purchases seem like relics of the past–we hope. With the mounting needs and growing gap between the have and have nots, flaunting your wealth has to to be frowned upon. Even impulse buying and mall binges are a thing of the past. Most of us are re-focusing on what matters and the basic needs we have. 350px-Mazlow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg This fall down Maslow's mountain is an ideal time to take inventory of our careers and our next jobs. The question always is What do you want? So the career shopping mall is open and your shopping basket is empty and you can now fill it with whatever you want, the only limits are your true inner needs and your timeline. Here's the big caveat–you have to have time. If you have been laid off AND you have days instead of months to look for the next thing, then I am NOT talking to you. On the other hand, if you are "looking" to make a change. You are proactively evaluating your professional trajectory AND you have a good runway to make that choice, then pull out your cart and let's go down the aisle ways!Shopping carts

First, let me let out a brief cathartic rant. Many people I encounter feel they are at-risk of losing their jobs and/or have reached a ceiling in terms of how their work fulfills them. And they are gainfully employed! They are not operating with any urgency. They have forgotten that they have many resources and opportunities at work to re-tool and enhance their skills, knowledge and abilities (SKA) to make them marketable for the new and better thing. Some of them have full tuition reimbursement still! And yet, they wallow in their indecision. They lolly gag their way through their confusion of choices and options. Many even blame their employer for not doing more for them, WHAT?!! Regrettably, a big percentage of these folks can not take the steering wheel of their own career and start to drive it towards their preferred destination even when someone else is paying for the gas! One thing is certain, they will get focused when they get the layoff notice and for all of us who have been laid off sometime in their careers, including yours truly, you know that is a very very different career/job search process. So, if you are employed and not in immediate danger of layoffs, then kick it into the next gear, because time is your enemy. Take full advantage at doing your job well (you will need this reference) AND the resources available to you to address your weaknesses or build up your SKA for what is required of your next desired career chapter. Stop waiting for the right time and right feeling. Stop procrastinating. Otherwise, the reality is the time and feeling will inevitably be controlled by something or someone else. Car stranded Your little career car will be stranded in the desert and you will be staring at your GPS system! Not your preferred option. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Whew. 

For those re-thinking their careers this may be an ideal time to go on a career shopping spree. What am I talking about? Unemployment is at record levels. There are so many depressed and shrinking industries, but there are also many opportunities. But jobs are being posted and opened everyday. But sometimes our perspective and self loathing prevents us from seeing them. Rose colored glasses Our lenses are colored by our pasts and our habits. Just like when we go down the aisles of the grocery store, we are looking for our brands, and the others are a blur and our brains have filed as irrelevant. We make our career path choices in much the same way–the past is prologue. If you are building a career and you see the steps ahead within the industry you are in, then focus is critical. But if you are considering making a change, then you have to get your brain to see new brands and new shelves and aisles of career options. Perspective is everything. Change your lenses then some new worlds and opportunities will come into view. 

If you are employed and antsy, then let's go shopping — for what's next. Be a serious and focused shopper who is open to real change. Yes, competition is fierce. And being competitive is essential. However, we can't say we want something different in our lives and then look at the same options. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a change. (apologies to Mr. Einstein) The wonderful thing about this type of shopping is it won't cost you a cent, but if you don't do it the costs could be much higher.

Thanks for reading. John

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