Why I’m A Career Contrarian

Many of my CEO coaching clients are asking for my help with designing a new future, vision, and growth strategy.

I realize most of us are returning from summer holiday highs. Before you read this, take a breath, and adjust your channel to “career mode.”

Layoffs get a bad rap. Yet they are inevitable in most organizations.

And we’re seeing our share of layoff announcements across the media from Oracle, Sprout Mortgage, Grubhub, and more.

For some of my younger followers and fans, this might be the first layoff wave you have witnessed. And yes, you might lose your job.

You have every right to be nervous…for a short time.

Then consider the contrarian evidence:

  1. Unemployment still hovers 3.5% in the USA.
  2. Last week’s strong jobs report also impressed analysts and economists.
  3. Many of my CEO coaching clients are asking for my help with designing a new future, vision, and growth strategy. Most are hiring and report strong free cash flow. My fellow strategy advisors report heavy travel and a strong appetite for business offsites and refreshed strategic planning advisory services demand.
  4. Leaders are experimenting with a “work from anywhere” approach and finding top talent in many corners of the world. The talent pool grew exponentially, in some cases. We don’t need to sacrifice lifestyle and good health for our dream jobs.
  5. While attending the Fast Company Innovation Festival session with Fed Chief Jerome Powell, I learned that in the U.S., two open jobs exist for EVERY unemployed person.
  6. Boards are asking their CMOs for help with improving their messaging to fuel higher employee engagement. This represents a career growth opportunity. CMOs may just be more politically relevant in leadership and retention discussions than HR. (I expect some backlash on that statement!)
  7. This trend comes at an important moment in history. We still haven’t sorted out how we will design and ignite teams in the new world of work.
    Also, in an era of purpose-driven leadership, our layoff announcements need to be honest, clear, and free of B.S. (Notice I never use the overused term, “authentic.”)
    Conscious and compassionate leaders have taken their rightful seat in the mainstream management boardroom. Part of the reason is that they stand for something other than a strong balance sheet. They are talent magnets. You’ll learn more in my most recent livestream and podcast with Seth Goldman (click here). Here’s the Apple Podcast replay.
  8. The most generous CMOs enjoy an embarrassment of riches—regardless of economic conditions. One of my clients, Matt Blocher, invited thousands of his LinkedIn connections to reach out to him. Last week, his post read:
    If you’ve recently been laid off or furloughed (or are just generally job hunting) and our paths have crossed in the past, please let me know how I can help you…We are a community and I’m happy to do my part to support you during these challenging times.
    This generosity of spirit is something author Keith Ferrazzi calls a co-elevating relationship. Matt will never need to worry about his career prospects.

Now is the perfect time to step up, reduce attrition of your best talent, and, in turn, dramatically boost brand repute. This is a marketer’s moment in the sun. Grab your front row lounge chair!

In episode 51 of The Mindful Marketer I discussed how to re-ignite job satisfaction, trust, and team confidence in high stakes situations with Gary Ware.

Companies with untested business models, slow-moving or toxic cultures, and weak balance sheets will announce layoffs. That’s capitalism–warts and all.

Armed with knowledge and trendspotting arrows in your career quiver, you have the power to rise above the naysayers and thrive. Don’t let the nervous layoff Nellies ruin your summer vacation, nor your career.

How are you recession-proofing your career today? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a note. I might just share your story (anonymously) in our next Mindful Marketer Livestream, September 2. You’ll receive the 1-click registration link in our next issue.

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