Lately, quite a lot of focus in the news has been on topics that evoke fear. The stock market is down. Hiring may be slowing. Prices are skyrocketing. The labor shortage still exists, and supply chain issues have not been fully resolved. We’re living inside of a system with uncertainty. And, the uncertainty creates fear. But, it could be argued that uncertainty was there all along.
Uncertainty and fear are often the products of the unknown and of change. These feelings can lead us to try to find, or to stay in a stable spot. We may remain with our current employer for the job security. We may try to minimize the change we introduce into our lives. This makes sense. At times, it can be a matter of survival.
But, in the way business works today, uncertainty may become a normal part of working. Let’s back up a little. Just a few generations ago, a stable corporate job would last for your entire career. If you were pragmatic, you’d get one job and slowly climb the ladder at your company one step at a time.
This has evolved. For many career paths, the way to the top now comes through a series of job changes. Whether you’re switching companies or career fields, the road is no longer a linear one.
The more that your career is non-linear, the more you’re introducing both change and risk. After all, you may join a new company that is not a fit. You may try a new type of role and find that it doesn’t work for you. But, many successful careers now demand this type of change to continue to grow.
As you can imagine, your current company is less likely to invest resources into you if your path will lead you outside of their doors. This forces you to be in the driver’s seat. You must make your own connections, be in charge of your own education, and make your own way. You must be the CEO of your own career.
You must also show up as a ready-made package, as if you were a consultant. It is similar to running a small business. But, it doesn’t come without risks. You may not always have the same income. Competition is higher. You must prove your value to stay relevant. In other words, the current market is full of uncertainty and change. But, this kind of uncertainty already exists in today’s working world.
If you find yourself at a point in your career where you’re ready for a change, don’t wait. Things may or may not feel more stable soon. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you quit your job with no plan. It means that you should start taking small steps today that will lead to bigger changes later. Begin networking and interviewing for jobs. Walk yourself through the uncertainty and change one step at a time.