There are some people that always seem to have great jobs and that are able to work on a consistent basis, even in shaky industries and uncertain times.
Then there are others who seem to be constantly unhappy in their careers or who go for long periods of time without work. They blame the world and wonder why bad luck always seems to happen to them.
People have the ability to make their own luck and have a great career when they focus on making it great. Those that are success in their careers are able to make things happen, instead of waiting for things to change or happen to them.
Here are five steps that can help someone be proactive, instead of reactive, and to be passionate about new possibilities, while making sure they are never without a job:
1. People Need to Tell Themselves That They Will Always Be Employed
What people say matters. Words have power, meaning, and intention. When people tell themselves something bad will happen to their job, something bad will probably happen. If they instead tell themselves they are marketable and confident and that they will always be working, their words can make this true.
2. Anticipate Trends In the Industry
If a job is being eliminated or outsourced, the person will want to know about it before she is in the room with the human resources person saying that the job is going away. Research the industry. Know what's happening and what the experts say will happen. This way people can make informed decisions. Look for trends. When they are found, people need to start training themselves in those areas. Knowledge is power. Having the right skills at the right time ensures that no matter what is happening around someone, the person will be needed and employable.
3. Have An Updated Résumé
A résumé showcases skills and abilities to the world. It is a selling tool that outlines unique qualifications so an employer can see, at a glance, how the person can contribute to the employer's workplace. When people are looking for work, prospective employers know immediately whether or not they are a fit for a position. Even if people are not looking for work, their résumé reminds them of the contributions they make on a regular basis, something they can easily forget when they are immersed in the day-to-day. Whether employed or looking for a job, an updated résumé is essential for a career.
4. Network On A Regular Basis
If people start to network only when they need something, they will have a lot of catching up to do. Therefore, network every day. Wherever there are people, there is an opportunity to network. People do not always have to go somewhere to network successfully. They can network within their own company. Ask people about opportunities and find out what might be available. People are the best resource for information. Invite co-workers to lunch. Take the time to walk by someone's office to say hello.
Every industry has an association. Find out when the industry's local association meeting is and go. Get involved in this group and meet more people. That way, if something happens to a person's job, he'll have people to reach out to.
Lastly, send an e-mail to or call people you already know on a regular basis. If you are always keeping in touch, then you will not feel bad that you are bothering someone when it's time to reach out and ask for help.
5. Always Be On The Lookout For New Opportunities
Read trade publications. Read memos from all over the company. People should think about what they could be doing differently and get their creative juices flowing. Think positively. Rather than thinking, "It cannot happen," people need to believe that what they want is possible and is within their reach. Then, make it happen.
Adapted from article by Deborah Brown-Volkman, PCC, President of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc. (http://www.surpassyourdreams.com)