Three Tips To Shore Up For A Career Flood

by Barrett-Poindexter, Jacqui Tuesday, June 29, 2010
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Ankle-deep in water, we waded across the ramp to our dock. The next day, after a satiating weekend of sailing, we returned to the ramp for departure, and alas, the water had risen to our knees.

Granted, we had slept the prior night ‘on the water,’ and then sailed through the day, water skimming our hull and sails pulling us through this liquid highway. As sailors, water clearly is our friend, but it was the unexpected creep of the wet stuff that startled us, interjecting itself where it wasn’t welcome, creating a potential barrier to our sailing lifestyle entry and exit.

Fast-forwarding a few days later, the water had ascended to waist level, forcing the more serious sailors to don swimsuits and paddle to their docks and boats. At this point, the marina owners and technicians stepped in, erecting temporary, gangplank type structures that bridged the water, facilitating an adventurous journey for eager sailors to meet up with our awaiting sailboats.

Nonetheless, as in a career course that only appears smooth, unwavering and secure, the signs of flooding had preceded our alarm. A spring and early summer of heavy storms and rain forewarned us, as the mounting raindrops created soggy lawns and rising lake waters.

As well, the wisdom of experienced marina folk, in particular a retired Coast Guard professional who now helped manage the marina, had anticipated this occurrence. In fact, he had strongly suggested to the owner that bridge building supplies laboriously created in the wake of prior summers’ storms be stored for future such emergencies.

The marina owner had declined his suggestion, and in the wake of this latest storm, was caught unprepared and forced to react urgently and quickly, and quite frankly, expended more abundantly in human and financial resources than he would have if he heeded the wisdom of the retired Coast Guard expert.

Likewise, many careerists find themselves unprepared and seemingly unaware of impending job course changes, despite storms that intermittently erupt and the rising tides signaling distress. Instead, they look the other way, or, are so swept up in their day-to-day that the distraction of building career plans to bridge potential career floods seems too onerous.

Several key steps to maintaining a healthy career, built to endure storms and bridge job floods, include:

1. Maintaining a modern resume, updated with your CURRENT achievements and challenge/action/result stories that show (don’t tell) your nuanced talents as well as problem-taming skills, selling your value to a very targeted audience. Unfortunately, after situated in a new role, many careerists allow their career resumes to sit idly, collecting dust, and only when they are in the throes of job transition or job loss, seek a hasty resurrection and quick-fix of this most integral of career tools.

2. Nurturing, giving your time/attention to and maintaining a solid, trust network of individuals and groups on whom you call when needed to shore up during and after a career flood.

3. Creating and maintaining a current online presence; ensuring your primary social media profiles are fed with contemporary contributions and roles.

Preparing for career storms and floods, particularly in the environment of Me, Inc., should become an intuitive process that careerists embrace. Empower yourself with a portfolio of career documents and profiles, career colleagues and coaches who lift your message and propel you through a journey of success.