“When I was laid off, I was shaking so badly that I didn’t know whether I could drive home,” said Kristin, 32, a mother of three who lost a public relations job. “My heart was pounding and I felt disassociated, like the whole thing was a bad dream.”
After working at the same company for five years, David, 36, was escorted out of his building after being informed that the company was heading in a new direction and no longer needed his type of skills.
Shock, rootlessness and anger are just a few normal responses many feel when they lose their jobs to corporate downsizing. Since the national crisis on Sept. 11, the U.S. Dept. of Labor states that jobless claims are approaching 700,000 across the U.S. — the highest in nearly a decade.
How can you mitigate career risk — otherwise known as the pitfalls of marketplace change, economic turndowns, downsizing, personal health and life changes, and distasteful company politics that can wreck havoc with one’s life?
The answer lies in building a CareerPortfolio™, a career risk management approach, similar to building a financial portfolio, that can help you develop four, specific career assets, or “investments.” Why four? Because these four ingredients offer a well-balanced opportunity for you to earn, learn, and help others throughout the rest of your life. And, like a financial portfolio, you can diversify risk so that you always have a number of career options on tap.
Begin with a Personal Purpose
To build a CareerPortfolio, start by developing your personal purpose. Your personal purpose is your investment strategy that guides all of your career decisions.
Begin by answering the following questions.
How would I like to be remembered 100 years from now?
What am I passionate about?
Two projects when I made a difference in recent years are (list them):
Now think about the big picture and write down the purpose of your life by filling in the blank: The purpose of my life is to.
You can revise your personal purpose statement as needed. It will help you decide what types of opportunities are worth pursuing. You will become purposeful rather than just “busy.”