There is a wonderful story about a middle-aged man who was suffering through more than his share of career upsets and financial woes. One night he experienced the most vivid dream of his life, he dreamed that God told him that he was going to win the lottery. He awoke refreshed, optimistic and ready to tackle all of his problems.
But when Wednesday came and the lottery numbers were drawn, our protagonist did not win. The Saturday drawing came and went, and again, he did not win. The same for the following Wednesday and again on Saturday, despite his recurring dream, our down-on-his luck executive did not win.
In the depth of despair, he prayed to God, asking why his divine dream that he was going to win the lottery was not fulfilled. “You promised me.”
Then the voice of God responded, “You have to help me out. You have to buy a ticket.”
So ends the most important lesson for career management and, most especially, career transition.
The transformation of healthcare means that our old image of being a “layoff-proof” industry that was not subject to the vagaries of the economic twists and turns that affect other industries is not even remotely accurate and, truth be told, hasn’t been since the mid-1990s. Today these realities are just that more stark.
You cannot sit back and think that focusing on career management and strategic network development is for some chump that can’t hold a job for more than two years. You hold on to that fantasy at your own peril. The pressures will become more intense, the challenges more daunting. If you hope to successfully navigate these turbulent times, you will have to get serious about investing time in career management, you will have to “buy the ticket.”
So as you decide whether to get off your duff and begin doing what it takes to thrive in this challenging environment, let me offer these ideas. They are predicated on this: having a great job, a good income and strong performance evaluations are not necessarily a guarantee that you will escape the turmoil.
If you do not buy a lottery ticket, there is no way you can win.
© 2021 John Gregory Self