Job Search and Life ChallengesPosted: July 22, 2014
As the Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley” or, in other words, “sometimes our plans go really wrong.” One situation where that can have repercussions is when your job search collides with a major life event that you couldn’t foresee and might have little or no direct control over.
I’m a big fan of making good plans, whether it’s for a job search or career change or for something more on a personal level. However, as many of you might also have experienced, I’ve found more than once that my plans can get derailed–temporarily, longer term or permanently. Here are just a couple of examples from my own experience that might resonate with you in some way:
- In 1999 my mother passed on unexpectedly. My son and I shared a home with her, and that was where I ran my full-time business. She had also been my chief supporter and cheerleader since I started the business in 1991. Clearly her loss was a major life event that I had no immediate control over. I had to deal with all the related personal issues and responsibilities while doing my best to resume normal business activity as soon as possible–clients were counting on me, of course, but even more important was that my son’s well-being and mine depended on keeping things running. That was 15 years ago, and I’m still here, but of course I had to regroup and change some of my plans to fit the different situation that had come into my life.
- Several months ago my son and I began planning a two-week trip to England to visit some friends of mine and do a lot of sightseeing. That trip occurred in late May and early June of this year. In large part it went as planned. However, since our return, events have not followed the expected pattern, which is why this is my first blog post in about two months! Unforeseen challenges have included ongoing family health issues (not mine), two beloved dogs suffering annual allergy problems, and more. I had to cut myself some slack as a result, prioritizing my business and personal activities to take care of the ones that seemed most critical and putting others on a back burner.
Obviously, this is not one of my “standard” blog posts, but it’s one that comes from the heart. You might find yourself in a situation where you have planned your job search or career change as thoughtfully as you can and put a lot of good energy into it, only to face something that challenges you to rethink or regroup in order to move forward productively. What I’m basically saying is that you can do yourself a favor by allowing for the possibility that things like this can happen, even to those “best-laid plans,” and you don’t have to let them throw you for an absolute loss.
I belong to a small group that has a twice-monthly phone call where we share our experiences and learn great things about how to handle a variety of situations. Usually these are business-related, but there’s often a personal aspect as well. A recent topic was “resilience.” I think it’s a good concept in connection with today’s blog post! When job search and life challenges collide, resilience might be a key factor in your ability to move forward.