By Mary Foley
While it’s true that for the first time in U.S. history the number of women in the workforce outnumber men and that increased uncertainty may create unprecedented opportunities for women, there are two things can kill any woman’s career potential: Denial and Complacency.
Few people love change and uncertainty. When it comes in bucket loads, a common response is to deny it’s really happening or really that bad. You just don’t want to really know if the company is going to layoff half of the employees or if there is a major change in business direction that demands a huge restructuring.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a little denial can be useful, but a lot not so much. “Being in denial for a short period can be a healthy coping mechanism, giving you time to adjust to a painful or stressful issue. [However], being in denial for too long can prevent you from effectively dealing with issues that require action.”
Like it or not, your job can change in a nano-second, and often not because of anything you’ve done or not done. The sooner you face a job loss or a job ripple, the sooner you can do something about it. Those who move from denial to action most quickly will be the ones who will most quickly be able to take proactive steps to keep their career alive and prospering.
Being mentally and emotionally able to take action is one thing. Actually doing it is another. Fear and denial are very effective in keeping us stuck and complacent. Complacency can kill your career because if you are not adjusting to the company’s current situation or needs, you are no longer useful or relevant.
You might need to learn new knowledge, gain a new skill, or be willing to jump into a totally new role altogether. As Ashley Fidel of the Daily Muse says, “A winding career path isn’t a bad thing—it can mean you’ve taken opportunities to experiment, rule out bad fits, develop strong transferable skills, and learn more about your professional self.” In quickly changing circumstances an effective strategy is to start taking action - any kind of action – in order to keep motivated and flexible.
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” advised Theodore Roosevelt. Avoiding denial and complacency will enable you to do that for your career (and everything else)!
About Mary Foley
Get more free resources to increase your career confidence at MaryFoley.com, including your Free Sanity, Confidence & Fun Action Pack with eBooks How to Thrive on Shift & Change for Your Career and What Every Woman Must Know About Office Politics eBooks. Mary inspires women with practical advice to create sanity in your life and confidence in your career – all while having a bit of fun! She is the author of three books, a popular national speaker, and former co-host of the Girlfriend We Gotta Talk! radio show. Find out more at http://www.maryfoley.com.