I remember speaking with Jeremy, a nuclear officer in the Navy, who was transitioning into civilian life. I asked him what was one of the more difficult tasks in his service. He told a requirement to become qualified as a nuclear officer was to be able to draw the nuclear reactor, every part, valve and whatever else is on it and explain its function. I wondered out loud to him if it was one of those “drop out” requirements that every profession has, one intended to reduce the number of people in the program. He smiled and then gave me an education.
He explained the purpose of Navy ships is to fight, and it was important they are always ready and prepared. In battle, he told me, “things get damaged, including nuclear reactors. It’s expected and we need to prepare for it.” His knowledge of every part of the reactor was necessary when it became damaged, allowing him to create temporary solutions to keep it working until full repairs could be made. I walked away from the conversation even more impressed with our military and how prepared they are. I wonder how prepared or unprepared we are with our careers.
Is your career on autopilot today, because things are working well, i.e., you like what you do, who you are doing it with and the company you work for? I’ve been in that situation before, until the unexpected happened. I shouldn’t have been surprised, and neither should you, if we pay attention to the world around us.
- 7 million annual job losses, i.e., layoff, discharge, job elimination, etc.
- 15,000 – 18,000 annual mergers and acquisitions.
- 50% of the workforce (165 million) are looking passively or actively for a new job.
- An increasing number of retirements each year.
- An increase in technology replacing workers.
It’s clear that your career will be impacted sometime, and it won’t always be a decision you made.
The unexpected isn’t necessarily bad, because with every change, there is an opportunity for someone. It could be for you. Will you be ready for the opportunity when it happens? Or will you be thinking about it?
Imbedded in the word Career, is an important word:
If you care about something, you pay attention to it, nurture it, strengthen it, grow it, make it even better.
Do you care about your career, what you do for a living?
What are you doing today, to prepare you for tomorrow’s unexpected opportunity?
Can you answer the following questions?
- Do you know how you add value to your organization?
- Do you know how your organization makes money, and your role in generating income or reducing expense?
- Do you have a network of friends and colleagues outside of your organization that can help you?
- Are you actively nurturing and growing your network?
- Are you learning new job skills?
- Are you seeking out opportunities, or waiting for them to come to you?
- Do you know what skills are needed in your dream job?
- Do you know the skills you have that are transferrable to other industries?
You probably couldn’t answer every question. That’s okay, it’s normal. The ones you couldn’t answer deserve your attention.
I don’t think we can anticipate everything, but we do know we will have trouble in this world, Jesus said so himself. A little preparation will help you face those challenges when they come.
So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 1 Peter 1:13 (NLT)