Career Risks… And How to Avoid Them

So many uncertainties surround us in today’s business environment: disruptive business models, customer volatility, uncertain economics, technology breakthroughs, shortened life cycle of products, services, know-how and more.

They all have either a direct or indirect impact on your business journey in terms of security (loss of a job), reputation, credibility, image and performance, know-how, with a feeling of «not very much is under my control».

Example of a Career Risk:

Alex has 15 years of experience and an above average performance track record. One day, his company announces the departure of his direct boss. John will be taking over. After three months of collaboration, tangible signs show that John and Alex are not on the same wavelength. For example John has a tendency to give unrealistic deadlines; Alex is no longer invited to some strategic meetings and there is a general feeling that the chemistry between the two is not optimal. So after so many years of good performance, all of the sudden, just because of a change in the hierarchy, Alex’s performance is no longer recognized as it was before!

So what is your Risk Profile and your Risk Exposure?

Recognizing signs of motivation or lack of it, are of paramount importance. Below are some of them:

  • There is a fast change in business model and/or market dynamics in my industry and impacts on my employer, on my position.
  • Knowledgeability of current employment market trends and opportunities are missing. Am I still learning?
  • Politics, power-ego games, rumors, lack of clarity, the unsaid are taking the lead and are more valued.
  • Aged between 43 and 50 and seeking a sense of purpose in my job. So far a perception that my career is achieved by coincidence.
  • Perception that performance is enough to move forward. Responsibility, autonomy, fun are not valued enough. My past success will suffice…
  • Being a passive candidate… waiting for headhunters to contact me and expecting my employer will care about me and promote me. CV and LinkedIn profile updated.
  • Unawareness of skills transferability: from one position-function to another or from one industry to another.
  • Tendency to procrastinate… hoping and/or waiting for the best/the better. Feeling to be at cross roads… but need a trigger.

The question is how can we minimize these risks and instead create regular opportunities for development?

The most reliable way to predict my future is to create it!

Below are some suggestions to:

Take charge, to direct my career and to have an impact for my own benefit:

  • Raise awareness of my true potential (skills analysis-identification, preferred motivators-drivers) and better understand my 4 main career cycles.
  • Be prepared and permanently pro-active. Is my career a priority and how much time am I ready to allocate to this topic? Am I daring and initiating enough?
  • Enhance my external visibility and marketability. Am I findable and distinctive, unique enough and do I measure my attractivity index.
  • Better value my contribution and performance. Ensure that «I have my say» and «make my voice known». Stand out, create opportunities for myself, and obtain a compensation that recognizes my efforts!
  • Position myself as a true differentiator and behave as a value creator instead as a job seeker (read my previous post on ‘Behaving like a Chance’).
  • Master the art of receiving unsolicited job offers, career options-choices ensuring that I achieve what you would like your future career to become (read my post on ‘Create your Career before it Creates You’).

Exploring new opportunities proactively provides a perception of increased autonomy, peace of mind and sense of purpose. The return is more clarity, awareness, confidence, motivation, action in make it happen… as we want, thus avoiding “being a hostage” of a context.
In conclusion, risk avoidance is prevention and anticipation applied in a positive momentum when you feel in total confidence, recognized and valued. Are you doing your best to minimize future career risks?

Be in the position to be offered, to choose and create the career you want.

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