Rarely are we able to predict a crisis and how it will impact our lives and careers.
However, the opposite is true as we emerge from a catastrophe. There are usually clear signals that things will soon turn around.
And when you see those positive signs that the end of the difficult situation is near, you have the opportunity to do what you couldn’t do when you were unexpectedly blindsided by the crisis – get out in front of it.
Let’s face it, crises tend to cause major disruptions to the way you work, live and play.
And as the end of the crisis draws near, things usually do not return to exactly how they were before.
In fact it is safe to assume that the opposite will be true. Crisis recovery is usually a long journey filled with a whole new set of challenges.
But that is the ideal time to start preparing for how you will resume your personal and professional lives after the crisis is over.
As you emerge from a catastrophe that significantly disrupts your career and work-life, you have an opportunity to reflect on your former choices, where you are now, and where you want to go.
Here are three immediate career actions you can take to emerge from a crisis whole and successful.
1.Renew Your Career Success Vision.
Experiencing a crisis can often lead to feeling overwhelmed and out of balance. Much of what you originally planned for your career might now be different or unrealistic because of new circumstances.
Therefore as crisis recovery occurs you can get back on solid footing by renewing your career vision.
This includes taking inventory of how the crisis impacted your work status and responsibilities, including whether or not your pre-crisis work situation remains a viable or compelling option for you.
Perhaps your interests and aspirations are completely different now or maybe they remain the same.
Either way, you are uniquely positioned to critically review and assess what you want from your work life going forward and to redefine success for yourself.
After you’ve experienced significant change in your personal or professional life, taking time to determine what success looks like for you in the future will help you to confidently pursue your goals.
2.Commit to Stability & Health Amidst The Chaos.
No matter what you do or where you go, you will never be able to escape change.
And it can be particularly scary when you have no control over the changes that come.
Despite not having a say over everything that impacts our lives, we do have control over how we react to those changes.
And we know that more change is always around the corner. Even recovering from a crisis is more change in and of itself and will once again alter how you live and work.
The best way to manage stress and anxiety in response to unknown change is to focus on creating stability for yourself where ever you can.
When everything and everyone around you starts to get chaotic, you can create and find stability in your routines at work and at home.
Your diet, sleep hygiene, physical fitness, mental health, and spiritual habits are all aspects of personal self-care you can control and prioritize.
There are also simple and practical ways to practice self-care on the job too.
3.Put Together Plan A And Plan B.
It is human nature to only focus on what is immediately in front of you and ignore everything else. So when catastrophe hits, most people end up confused and unsure of what to do.
Develop Plan A and Plan B for your career to avoid being caught off guard.
Starting with your career success vision, Plan A should map out your career goals and the steps you will take to achieve them. Plan A should also address:
- What experiences you wish to have.
- What kind of work and projects energize you.
- The type of work environment you thrive in.
- What specific role and industry is the best fit.
- How you will develop and prepare for your future responsibilities.
You will also want to have a Plan B in case circumstances beyond your control make Plan A unattainable.
Having both a realistic Plan A and Plan B allows you to proactively create career options for yourself.
Even though life and work can be upended by a crisis, you ultimately still own your career.
You can grow and deepen your skills.
You can contribute.
You can make decisions in your own best interest.
You can choose your work environment.
No matter how constrained you may feel in a crisis, there are still options available to you.
Determining if, how or when you exercise your options is one way to reclaim control over your career and success.