Jason Seiden recently asked readers of his always-insightful blog what they thought were the keys to professional resilience in these turbulent times. Great question!
One new key to resilience in 2009 is: be a voracious learner about social media, and invest plenty of time and effort into becoming a “trust agent,” online and off.
Here are a few more timeless keys:
1. Any major change (like a job loss) presents a moment of crisis, but also an opportunity to change course in response. Try to travel light, in a material sense, so you can stay agile and minimize the sense of financial crisis. And acknowledge that these transitions happen to everyone eventually, more frequently now than ever (and more frequently still in the future): embrace the opportunity to explore new avenues.
2. Stay culturally curious and socially engaged: these traits will help you unconsciously develop the assets you’ll need to ride out the transition, and will help you recognize the right opportunity when it comes along.
3. Take responsibility for your professional destiny, and avoid at all costs the temptation to indulge in self-pity (beware: it can be strong and unintentionally reinforced by those closest to you, who really do have your best interests at heart but aren’t sure how to help).
Take the surfers’ approach: finding a great new gig is like catching a perfect wave. To ride one, you need to:
- know where the best beaches are, at what time of day, in which season;
- share your knowledge with others, and they’ll share with you;
- take care of yourself and eat a good breakfast – you’ll need plenty of energy and stamina to make the most of your day;
- get up early and get out in the lineup with the daybreak;
- know that you’re going to wipe out from time to time, so don’t sweat it;
- know that the perfect wave can come at any time, from any direction, so keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel;
- be ready to paddle like hell when you see the perfect swell coming, so you can drop in at just the right time to catch the curl;
- don’t worry if you miss a perfect wave – another will come along eventually;
- don’t worry if the surf is flat – you can always come back tomorrow;
- be respectful and look out for others in the lineup, and they’ll do the same for you;
- know where the sharks are, and avoid them;
- be glad that you’re surfing, and enjoy the day!