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“Friday Might Be My Last Day Here”

February 24th, 2011

Recently I was talking to a working professional. Someone who is happy in her job, contributing to the organization, indeed, living the dream.

This person is in a significant role, and if she left her organization would be in pain.

As we were talking, she said something I don’t hear enough, but I love to hear it (this is paraphrased):

“This Friday, or any Friday, could be my last day here.  What am I doing to prepare for that?”

Too often I talk with employed (even self-employed) people who are happy in their role and are neglecting personal career management.

From personal experience I can tell you that ignoring the elephant in the room, and ignoring the “writing on the wall,” is a very, very, very bad career management strategy.

Even if you are very busy at work, even if you are the most important person at the office (every one is replaceable, even YOU), even if things at the company seem to be going great, even if you just got a big bonus, even if you have a great relationship with the boss or owner, even if _____________…

YOU MUST MANAGE YOUR CAREER!

You must ask yourself: “what am I doing for that Friday?”

That Friday will come.  It might be on a Monday, or over the weekend, but it will come.

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5 Responses to ““Friday Might Be My Last Day Here””

  1. Zack Pike says:

    Ah… You are sooooo right! It’s so important to be doing something to manage your career outside of your employer at all times. I found this out the hard way when I was laid off in Feb 2009. Even if you “know” your not replaceable, sometimes the company your with just doesn’t care (either they think you are replaceable, or they think they don’t need you).

    I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Try to keep yourself in a position so f you got laid off, that afternoon you had an action plan and leads to a new position.

  2. Shane Smith says:

    Great advice!
    Too bad most people aren’t listening.

    And those who have never been “let go” …. Well, these are the same people that question those who have been let go with the “attitude” (what’s wrong with you for loosing your job)

    Time will answer this challenge for us all

  3. You three are all so right on. I personally believe this denial and its consequential complacency are unfortunately so prevalent in today’s work culture. … And then people are shocked when they find themselves suddenly unemployed. My advice to individuals who are concerned about job security: Get out of your comfort zone.

  4. Lew Sauder says:

    I have people in my network that only contact me when they are looking for a job. Networking is an on-going process of helping people, staying in touch and getting help. Branding yourself after you’re out of a job is too late.
    Lew Sauder, Author, Consulting 101: 101 Tips For Success in Consulting

  5. thom singer says:

    I had a meeting with a woman who had been laid off. She felt it was “not fair” that it happened with no notice. She wanted to “start” networking. I asked her why she had not networked for the past five years, and she said “because I did not need a job”

    OUCH.

    Networking is not for when you need a job. And now that she needed a job she was 5 years late in networking.

    She began working to build a brand. But after getting a job she dropped her network and disappeared.

    DUH…. what happens next time?

    Jason, no matter how many speeches you or I give, no matter how many books we write, or blog posts we post….. most folks don’t get it. (This is why we have job security!)

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