The first time I chose to live in the Mojave Desert, I quickly learned how to draw energy and inspiration from our planet in this uniquely challenging region of the United States. In previous posts on this website I wrote about my 2012 relocation back to this amazing part of our great nation. For those of you who have never lived in a desert, let me tell you: The rules for survival of life in a desert are very different from everywhere else. My desert living experiences of the past and the present shaped me into a person who sees many similarities between surviving in a desert and surviving a career transition.
When you live in a desert, you must learn particular rules of survival. Similarly, surviving a career transition brought out by the Great Recession of the early 21st century demands a keen awareness of ways to survive the extremes that you will encounter. Three significant extremes of the Mojave Desert are very well known–recurring periods of unforgivingly hot weather; rare and very precious water resources; and, a lot of prickly plant life that you should not just run up to and give a big hug.
Likewise, there are these three extremes of a Great Recession career transition–especially for those of us who are professionals with years and decades of work history: There are recurring periods of unforgiving self-doubt and second-guessing ourselves. There are rare and very precious career transition resources that actually are trustworthy and not just people trying to rip you off when you feel vulnerable. There are a lot of prickly people whom you should never hug, hang around with, or, allow to dash your dreams.
One of my favorite books is Desert Survival Skills by David Alloway–a very useful resource for everyone who hopes to survive living in a desert. There are highly relevant desert survival ideas in Alloway’s book that I want to share with you if you are attempting to survive a Great Recession career transition:
(1) Your attitude matters. You will be able to survive only if you convince yourself that you are going to survive. Panic and pessimism can end your life.
(2) Acceptance of your situation is critical. You will likely not survive if you use up very precious time and personal energy in anger and blaming of others (your former boss, all those co-workers you thought were fools, your ex-spouse, your parents, etc.)
(3) After you carefully consider all your options (there always are options no matter how extreme your circumstance seems right now), you must make plans and decisions to move on in your career to something else.
(4) The final step is that you must follow through on your decision to move on in your career and stick to it no matter how difficult that may seem at the moment.
Here’s my email address firstname.lastname@example.org for everyone who wants to network with me via the Internet to discuss how to tailor these Great Recession career transition tips to your personal situation.