The more people I talk to who have recently lost their jobs, the more I see how challenging it will be to find new, meaningful work in the current economy. The good news is that this won’t last forever, and if you’ve always thought that you might make some sort of shift – whether into the non-profit sector or otherwise – this economic mess might just be enough to jump-start you move in another direction.
Now’s the time to lay the groundwork for that next move, even if it is three, six, or more months out. If you can, volunteer, start that pet project you’d always meant to do, roll up your sleeves, meet people, make yourself stand out from all the other people who were swept up in this economic tsunami.
On the flip side, if you still have your job, don’t forget that the bar is rising. Those hundreds of thousands of Wall Street types who are out of work? (who I blogged about here) They are hungry and skilled and aggressive and networked. Now is a great time to raise your own game and be even more indispensable.
(OK, in truth, you should always be indispensable, and especially if you are in a mission-driven organization, why would you be there in the first place if you’re not passionate about what you do?)
But now’s the time to dig deeper, to over-promise and then over-deliver. Now’s the time to make your co-workers’ lives easier, to roll up your sleeves, to burn the midnight oil. Now’s the time to lead.
Laying low and hoping you’re not noticed is a horrible life strategy. But right now, in particular, it might also be the best way to lose your job.