Saturday, April 18, 2009

Is your Career Going the Way of the Pontiac!

(Photo is courtesy of General Motors)

General Motors is saying goodbye to the Pontiac! It was a good car, a faithful car but no longer has a place within the mission of the organization in this very competitive market place. It is a sad end for one of America's well known "muscle car" brands.

This fantastic photo of the Pontiac in it's hey day made me wonder, if cars could speak, would Pontiacs everywhere say they saw it coming?

Of course we all know that Pontiacs can't speak, but how would the GM employees who worked on the Pontiac answer the same question? Could they say that they saw it coming?

My question today is - Can you tell if your job or career is moving towards obsolescence? If it is what can you do about it?

As employers continue to down size and right size for our new economic realities, so must employees. Here are some tips to consider if you think your job or assignment might be on the chopping block or you are dealing with other recession career issues:

1. Do not put too much stock in what others say. Evaluate the situation for yourself and use your own good judgment. Remember it was only the end of last year when GM's management said that if they did not receive financial help from the government that jobs would be lost. Guess what? Jobs are still going to be lost. In fact, In addition to terminating the Pontiac brand, GM also announced they were eliminating 21,000 more jobs before the end of 2010.

2. Start scanning the environment and building new job skills that are in demand. Look inside your existing company and then look inside your industry as a whole. Learn about the direction of your industry and where you fit.

3. Make an effort to connect with and support other people. Our tendency sometimes is to think we are alone in our job or career anxiety. This is not true. There are others in the same boat and creating a network of supporters is one way to advance.

4. Act for the present, but stay focused on the future. Remember, your goal should not necessarily be loyalty to company, but lifelong employability.

5. Manage your workplace stress. Employees are facing unbelievable levels of workplace stress during these challenging economic times. Many workers are stressed by extra assignments, workplace bullies who are acting up, declining retirement funds and worries about whether or not their jobs will withstand the next round of budget cuts. Getting a handle on workplace stress is a must!

Of course there are no guarantees that even if you do all the right things, you won't be downsized. However, take the time to manage your own career. No one else can do that for you.

Do you have any tips to share about a job or career that could be approaching obsolescence?


Eve said...

Pontiacs, hula hoops, VCR's etc. We have to always be thinking ahead and careers are no different!
good tips.

Marcia Robinson said...

Excellent point Eve. Your fun comments always add a lot.


Anonymous said...

It is a very interesting time to see which careers or trends are disappearing and which ones are actully coming back. You know the "everything old is new again" mantra.

who knows maybe like the pt cruiser and the ford mustang, careers will come back with a new twist.

Jana Cassidy said...

Interesting Points eve.