Threats surround us every day. Driving to work, being a victim of porch piracy, sudden health crisis, identity theft, or being a candidate for a layoff. It’s enough to make anyone paranoid!
So, the question is: How do you deal with potential or present threats? Do you practice defensive driving? Do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Are you vigilant with the protection of your personal financial information? Have you recently completed a S.W.O.T. analysis?
For now, let’s consider some job-related threats. The listing that follows is non-exhaustive, but a good start for you to review.
Threats (Some examples)
- You are in a declining industry.
- Your company is considering a merger or a buyout, which could lead to redundant workers.
- Layoffs are pending.
- A demotion is likely.
- You have minimal or inappropriate academic/professional/trade credentials.
- You are not current with forthcoming changes in technology as related to your career.
Invariably, within our contemporary work environment, there is the certainty of change. Good, bad, or indifferent… change will happen. Sometimes change will enable opportunities and other times less than favorable outcomes will result. Be tuned in, not only with your industry, but with the economy in general. Of course, today we must be cognizant of the world economy and political issues. Things at a macro level are, at most times, very difficult to comprehend.
For our discussion, let’s consider careers within one’s specific organization. After all, this is the level which we deal with throughout our working lives. Lifelong employment is an obscure concept. Most people will have three or more career changes that will include multiple job changes. Adaptability is a necessity along with a commitment to lifelong learning for employability.
So, is there a way to turn threats into opportunities? Maybe. It depends on options and choices on an individual basis. Consider the vignette that follows.
A large manufacturing plant was closing and relocating. Employees were given 90 days notification. They had to decide if they wanted to move their families to the new location which was about 800 miles away. There was no promise of the same job, only that they would be hired if they chose to stay on. For many with two–career families, moving was a problem. One of the managers, who had been with the company for 11 years, decided that this was a great time for all kinds of changes. His wife was self-employed and believed she might have more advantages in the new and larger city.
The company was just starting a new product development program at the new location and for him, it was a natural fit. He volunteered to work on the state-of-the-art project even though that would require weekly travel to the distant location. The days spent at the new facility gave him time to explore housing possibilities and to find relevant information about his wife’s options. Clearly, the outcome was a win/win situation.
To his credit, he was viewed by top management as a team player.
This is a good example of a threat evolving into an opportunity. It was based on careful assessment and exercising strong personal commitment to the next career phase.
Remember, threats will always exist. Awareness counts and it always helps to consider ‘what-if’ scenarios.
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