Are You TOO Comfortable?

This question was asked in my training class yesterday … followed by the statement that “being too comfortable drives out any desire to be uncomfortable.” In effect, being too comfortable is paralyzing. It keeps us frozen where we are no matter how miserable that place might be.

For example,

––Are you too comfortable in a job you hate?

At least half of the population is unhappy but despite the fact that they are unhappy, they stay because it’s easy and comfortable. Being a job hunter is hard work and can be very uncomfortable … which is why I recommend positioning oneself as a “hunted” candidate.

Life is too short to be miserable 40+ hours every week, and yet, people stay miserable because at least it is comfortable.

––Are you too comfortable with your job search strategy …

even though what you’re doing isn’t yielding any results, or not the results you should be getting? Sitting in front of the computer responding to posted positions sure seems like it should work, after all, the position fits you perfectly. Sadly, this is ineffective, frustrating, and for the most part a waste of precious time.

Moving away from the computer though is definitely uncomfortable, and scary, but necessary if you want to be successful in the shortest amount of time.

––Are you lulled into a place of comfort by a sense of job security?

It is easy to stick your head in the sand and live under the false illusion that your job is secure and there is corporate loyalty, so if you just don’t rock the boat you won’t have to worry. Wrong!

Just ask the people at Bear Sterns. Or the VP with a 20–year career at a privately–held bank who was walked to the door a few weeks ago. Or your next–door neighbor. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is more important then ever to adopt the mindset that you are merely between searches … in order to continually have new opportunities coming your way.

Are you too comfortable where you are, or are you willing to get a little uncomfortable in order to get what you really want?

Don’t get Bear Stearnsed!

In’s article, "Finding a Job in Lean Times … Things to keep in mind when looking for work during an economic slowdown," is an interesting read. Particularly enlightening, I think, is this excerpt …

"Because of the Bear Stearns meltdown and fears that other financial services firms might cut back on staff, a flood of job hunters has poured into the market in recent weeks. But they are fighting for fewer available positions, with some finance executives deciding that now is not the time to leave a stable post to take a chance on a new one."

It might be a good time to sit tight, but to some degree staying might not be the decision of the executive. Something might be coming down the pike – a new CEO, an acquisition, a disgruntled board – and it might be someone else who decides it’s time for the executive to leave.

Now, today, is the time to become proactive in managing your career. Since the average time for finding that new position is currently around 7 months, it makes sense to begin planning your next move, ramping up your networking, and building a visible online presence … before you need to.

Recruiters’ most desired candidate is one that is currently employed. The moment the executive walks out the door … even with a nice severance package in hand … his marketability can take a big hit.

Don’t get Bear Stearnsed! Take control of your career while you hold all the power to do so.

Are You Really OK?

I’m OK, You’re In Trouble. Really? How convinced are the folks who were surveyed … really … that it will happen to someone else and not them?

The final results for the 2007 survey of 573 CFOs in the United States and 1,275 globally found that 72% are more pessimistic than they were in the 3rd quarter of 2007.

A more recent survey by Spherion Corp. and cited in Today in Finance, found finance and accounting employees increasingly pessimistic about the economic outlook and the availability of finance positions. "Negative economic news and turmoil in the financial markets seem to be creating general unrest about where things are in the economy," says Brendan Courtney, a Spherion senior vice president.

Despite the general unrest, “… a whopping 82% of finance and accounting employees say it’s unlikely they’ll lose their jobs suggests that they aren’t taking their pessimism personally.”

The best time to proactively manage a career is while you are still employed. In this tight economy, it is not enough to “believe” any position is secure. Sticking one’s head in the sand and hoping that any disturbance will pass him by is intentionally putting a career in reactive mode … and reacting from the street curb is infinitely more difficult.  One need only look to a good chunk of Bear Sterns 14,000 employees for confirmation of that fact.

With fewer jobs and stiffer competition for them, the time to get visible to your target market is 12 to 18 months BEFORE you plan to move.