Sometimes, when faced with a situation where the next step is unclear or seems too risky, it pays to step back and ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” Otherwise, you may find yourself on one of these worst case career paths:
You are in a job that you hate and you are stressed every day. What is the worst that can happen? You make a mistake that gets you fired or you become too stressed and sick to work at all.
Compared to that, hunting for a new job while you are still employed is a much better alternative. When you are stressed, spending hours on a job search seems impossible. So hire a resume writer to take on the burden of writing a resume, cover letters, and LinkedIn profile. Then spend just 10 minutes every day researching job openings; even 10 minutes a day will start speeding you on your new path.
You love your job but your career has stalled. Other people receive promotions and you do not. What is the worst that can happen? You become bored and restless and may even quit a good job to take a chance on a new company—where once again your career stalls.
Compared to that, investing in a career coach makes sense. A career coach will help you discover how to fix the problem where you are now; perhaps by letting your boss know you want to advance or by earning credentials you need to move on or by making sure you get credit for your contributions. Alternatively, the coach may help you realize that what you want is not going to happen in the company or industry you are in—it is time for a career transition.
You are about to lose your job and you do not have a plan. When you know that the end of a company is near, your impulse is to jump ship fast. What is the worst that can happen? You end up in a job that you hate, and take a full step backward in your career.
Compared to that, taking your time to think through your next steps makes sense. Review your resume to highlight your most recent achievements. Talk to trusted bosses or peers about giving you recommendations. Research companies before you apply to make sure they have a good culture and a strong financial backbone. Now is the time to make thoughtful transitions.
You are about to retire, and you are dreading it. You love working and you fear that without work your brain will atrophy and you will lose respect for yourself. What is the worst that can happen? All those predictions come true.
Compared to that, striking out into a new career is far less risky. You may be able to become a consultant; start a business of your own; contribute to a nonprofit or for-profit board; or even take a role in local government. A professional resume writer can help you describe those transferable hard and soft skills that you honed over a long career and show how they will benefit businesses, customers, or organizations in your next phase of life.
When you find yourself on a worst case career path, please remember Robin’s Resumes®. We offer resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn writing and job and career transition coaching to help guide your career from the worst outcome to the best.