Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Career Flak Jacket

For those of us who are career management junkies, the name Peter Clayton is very well known. Peter is the force behind Total Picture Radio which he morphed from his original venture called Landed.fm. His tag line now is "The Voice of Career Leadership" and if you explore the information and interviews that you'll find at TPR, I think you will agree, it is a very apt description.

One of Peter's recent interviews was with Kirk Nemer who heads up a website called CareerProtection.com which provides legal and HR consulting services. Given some of the horror stories many of us have heard (or worse still experienced) over the years, it is a site and service whose time has come if not overdue.

Anyway, Nemer's company conducts a survey each year that forecasts layoffs and the forecast for this year is certainly not encouraging. Bottom line, the forecast is for a 37% increase.

Time, of course, will tell if the economic sky is really falling, but whether it really is falling or is just cloudy, Peter's interview with Nemer is very much worth a listen not so much for the reading of the economic tea leaves, but for his insights into the issues facing those who might see the writing on the wall.

In my experience, one of the strategic mistakes that I think many of us make when it comes to trying to protect ourselves in these situations is that rather than following the old axiom of "the best defense is a good offense" people choose to hunker down hoping that the bullets will pass overhead.

We have told our members for years that like it or not, no one cares about you more than you, and when it comes to managing your career, proactive is always better than reactive.

Another way of looking at this sort of thing is to understand that the degree to which you give yourself more time, the higher the probability that you will have more options available to you. Hardly a surprise.

What still surprises me, however, is how many people still don't act but continue to keep their heads down and wait for the world to happen to them. It sad to say, but over the years I have talked to more people than I can count who have said to me in one form or another "I just can't believe that I didn't do something about this sooner."

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