Not in the Hollywood sense of dying, where Bruce Willis finally kills you in a fiery crash or fall from the top of a skyscraper. I'm talking about the slow drip-drip-drip death as you watch your career eke away and there's nothing you can really do about it.
I run into this all the time. I have clients who own their own businesses and suddenly realize for the past 4-5 years their revenue and profits have been going down-down-down.
Or the executive who lives in a corporate hole their in working for an asshole, in a department of do-nothings, for a company who hates their employees (and loves the almighty dollar — but it doesn't go to the employees).
People's careers are dying all around us. It's due to a number of factors:
1. GLOBAL - The world is changing faster & faster. Institutions we thought were going to last forever are either no longer there or are on their way to disappearing. Publishing, media, technology, transportation, education, advertising, manufacturing, and medical just to name a few.
2. COMPANY - Focus on short-term profits vs. producing quality products. Top management has one focus — how to please Wall Street. They gear ALL of their decisions on hitting their targets and they quickly forget the product, the customer, and their employees in the process.
3. PERSONAL - People have lost their enthusiasm, drive and energy for what they are doing. They've been doing it so long it becomes a chore or they realize they have changed and are interested in more important things.
How do I diagnose and treat this situation? I ask a simple, three-part question — Do you want to:
- Stay and do nothing? (not a good idea)
- Stay and change the dynamic to make it better?
- Leave and/or do something else?
When your decision point drops down to this simple diagnosis — it instantly clarifies your situation and it sometimes scares people.
Most clients instantly recognize they've been doing #1 for many years. They've been sticking their heads in the sand and hiding in their cubicles waiting for something to change. Some knight in shining armor to whisk them off and save them. But it never does.
The truth is: YOU are the only one who can help YOU. You are in charge of your career and you need to stop waiting for things to happen to you and start directing your life (and explore your limits).
Step One: Get off your ass and stop living in #1. Start doing SOMETHING.
Step Two: Change the dynamic where you are. Start meeting new people, understand where the hot areas of where you work really are, and move towards that light.
Step Three: Get out and start meeting new people outside of your sphere. Open yourself up to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Start pushing yourself way out of your comfort zone.
By the way, I cover all of this in my award-winning workshop, "Bulletproof Your Career". Early next year, I will also be launching my personalized coaching program specifically geared towards bulletproofing your career. Stay tuned!