In the HVAC industry, the “comfort zone” is the temperature range where you feel environmentally comfortable and unstressed. It’s also known as the “dead zone”. Has your career become stuck in the dead zone?
While you may have been lounging at ease in your comfort zone, the world of work has changed dramatically. Employment has become more project-based and less stable. Temporary and contractual employment abounds and unemployment persists.
As early as 1997, Tom Peters originated the idea of your being the CEO of The Brand Called You, rather than relying on employers to develop your career path for you. Consider these tips to energize your Brand You strategy and move out of your career comfort zone:
1. Develop the ability to take well-researched, calculated risks. “Sure things” do not last anymore.
2. Uncover and promote your personal brand. It is the ultimate differentiator between you and your competitors, whether for jobs or for business customers.
3. Stay up-to-date on technology in your career field and industry. Technology has become pervasive in every career – you cannot escape it. Employers do not hire technology “dinosaurs”.
4. Eat the social-media elephant one bite at a time. Get a friend or family member already experienced in LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to give you tutorials. Social media is the new form of communication that builds credibility and networks.
5. Learn a new, in-demand language, such as Spanish or Chinese. You do not have to be an expert in the language. Boost your added-value to your employer, even as your language skill level is developing.
6. Look beyond your present job to where it is evolving. This means reading industry and trade journals and periodicals, as well as online searches, to “catch the wave” of the next shift in your field.
7. Evaluate the best return-on-investment skills to acquire for the new paradigm shift in your occupational field or industry. Then go get them!
8. Expand your social network – constantly. The ease with which you will be able to change jobs or even careers is dependent on the quality relationships you build and nurture.
9. Identify your top 5 work and life values. Then ask yourself, “Am I living these values?” Being true to your personal brand also means commitment to your values – in action.
10. Examine your beliefs about yourself. Are you consistently stuck in “limiting beliefs” that hold you back from what you could achieve? If so, why is that?
The 4th Annual Job Action Day is Monday, November 7. The theme this year is “Skill Up, Start Up, Speak Up”. Check out the many articles and contributions from well-respected careers professionals you will find there. Then begin to put what you have read into action. The future of your career depends on it.