Mark was a survivor until he was fired in 2017, six months after turning 50. He had done everything well in the book publishing industry, from assistant editor to associate editor and then to senior editor. Then he took over as editor-chief, but as eBooks and Amazon destabilized the Mark industry, he admits today, he had not paid attention to the changes; he thought that everything was fleeting and just a fad. “Despite that,” he says, “I clung to my job rather than start thinking about how to get out. At that time, I could not conceive of a life outside the confines of corporate publishing, of not being in the center of the club that I had participated in since I was 21, “says Mark.
Mark’s story is a cautious tale for all of us. In my experience, says Anne Kreamer, in his article ” Not Taking Risks Is the Risks of Career Move All, ” by Harvard Business Review, Mark believed things would work out for themselves, which rarely works. Failure to take action has costs that can be as important as taking risks. In today’s marketplace, where jobs are being destroyed and invented at an accelerated rate, the most risky move one can make, Kreamer says, is to assume that a job is safe.
Research conducted in 2015, 2016 and 2017 with global advertising agency J. Walter Thompson suggests that anxiety about our future work weighs heavily these days. More than half of Kreamer’s survey respondents across the United States (from custodians to CEOs, seniors and young people) were thinking of changing not only their jobs but also their careers. Half of all Americans yearn to do something different with their working life.
What stops us?
There are financial barriers and behaviors that do not allow us to take risks, it is a typical situation of the human being who prefers the known and moves away from the unknown. No one tolerates ambiguity, especially when losses and profits affect our way of life or the happiness of our families. In difficult economic times, people feel compelled to keep a job that may be unsatisfactory rather than betting on something with uncertain probabilities that could be better in the long run. So how can we turn self-destructive inaction into sensible action?
The first thing to take into account is the construction of networks. Stanford sociologist Mark Granovetter found that the most useful contacts for professionals seeking new jobs were people with whom they had a relatively weak relationship, but who had maintained themselves for several years. In addition, the more distinct the occupations were, the more likely they were to find a new job. As highlighted in the Aptitus blog article called ” How to Maximize Employability | Organization and administration of their networks “.
We must continue to meet new challenges and acquire the skills needed to meet those challenges. In addition, according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychologist at the University of California, Riverside, the act of committing to goals also provides structure and meaning to our lives that leads to more general happiness.
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