This morning President Obama delivered a speech in Columbus, Ohio marking the ground breaking of the ten thousandth roads project funded by the Recovery Act (otherwise known as the stimulus package). In his speech President Obama said “I’m under no illusion we are where we need to be” echoing the concerns expressed by Fed Chief Ben Bernanke last week. In his testimony before congress, Bernanke stated that there will be a “slow reduction” in unemployment as the recovery begins to take effect.
In April of last year national unemployment was at 9.4%. Currently, national unemployment is at 9.7%. The unemployment rate in Ohio, the site where the President showcased this “shovel ready” project, is nearly a full percentage point higher than this time last year.
Unemployment is continuing to rise and the number of American workers out of work for longer than six months has grown to 6.7 million. This accounts for nearly half of all unemployed workers in this country.
Welcome to the New Economy!
Making your way in this new environment is going to be a challenge. Blasting resumes into cyberspace, brushing up on your interview skills, and trolling job fairs isn’t going to cut it anymore. It’s no longer about chasing down existing opportunities, it’s about cultivating new ones. This is going to require adapting an entrepreneurial mindset!
Any good entrepreneur will tell you that success comes from opening your mind and seeing the world of possibilities that lay in front of you. Entrepreneurs are not big believers in happenstance, they tend to create their own luck. Take for example the June 2010 issue of Psychology Today where the featured article was on the notion of serendipity and success. The article noted that differences in personality and approach to life tend to impact perceptions of luck. When it comes to personality, one study cited by the article found that those who report being more lucky tend to be more extraverted, open to experience, and more tolerant of stress. With respect to differences in how one approaches life, the message was simple, take a step back and relax. Those who are more “present” in what they are doing and engaged with those around them, tend to have more luck.
Although personality is not something you can change, you most certainly can change the way you approach life. In particular, when it comes to dealing with the uncertainty of career transition, it’s critical that you begin by looking inward first, then outward. You must be present in the moment before considering where to go next. Uncertainty can produce a great deal of anxiety. The less control we believe we have over a situation the more anxiety we feel. The best way to take control of this anxiety and position ourselves for serendipity is to create a plan.
Personal planning is the key to taking charge of your career, reducing the impact of uncertainty, and generating your own luck. It’s all about creating a YOU Plan, a plan custom tailored for you and by you. I firmly believe that any good YOU Plan starts with introspection. You can’t build a strong plan without a solid foundation. When it comes to creating a YOU Plan you must ask yourself five fundamental questions that I remember as VIPER:
• What are my Values?
• What are my Intrinsics?
• What are my Passions?
• What is my Essence?
• What is my Roadmap?
To learn more about creating a YOU Plan go to www.TheYouPlan.com
Dr. Woody – www.DrWoody.com