Monday, September 22, 2008

Time for Career Strategy as well as Financial Strategy

I responded to a recent question on - "What's your biggest concern with regards to the US Financial Market crisis?" I think it was aimed at people managing money on Wall Street but I felt the need to expand the focus. Here's my response:

"My biggest concern is that people react to the situation rather than proactively strategizing what it means to their careers. In every challenge there are opportunities especially if you are positioned to take advantage of them. We are witnessing a fundamental change in Wall Street that will impact Main Street. The sooner people focus their attention on planning their career strategy, the sooner they can implement those plans and stay ahead despite any adverse changes in the economy."

I'm not trying to scare anyone. I'm merely pointing out that reacting to change is not an effective career strategy. Knowledge truly is power.

Get in the know about the impact to your career:

--Assess the impact to your employer. Did your employer lose clients or revenue due to the Wall Street shake-up? If so, will cost reductions need to follow to keep the business profitable? What ideas might you offer up to save the company money and perhaps save jobs?
--Assess the impact to your industry. Is demand in your industry likely to grow even if people curb their spending? Are the products and services produced by the industry something people can't live without or are they more of a luxury? Consider making contacts in growing industries such as healthcare, green power, oil and gas. Use your university alumni network to do informational interviews and understand how your skills can transfer.
--Assess your performance and contribution. Are you known by your manager as a top performer? Do clients love working with you? There's always room for the best of the best. Are you a revenue generator for the company? If not, what might you do to adjust your job to bring in revenue so you're not viewed as an expense?

I welcome your questions, comments and responses to these assessments. What impacts are you seeing (or do you anticipate) in your job, employer or industry? What outcomes are you working to create or would you like to create? What do you feel is a good career strategy given your situation?

If you're not sure, email me at for an assessment of your current situation and what you can do to strategically manage your career.


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CreatedVisible said...

Thank you for this blog. I enjoyed talking with you on Martha Stewart Sirius Radio.

Lindsey Pollak said...

Great post, Maggie. And I loved your interview on Fox Business. Thanks for sharing the perspective of someone who's been through this situation and turned a challenging time into an opportunity.