Now is the Time to Optimize

At the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, I was blogging on the uncertainty of the job market. I mentioned that even when recovery begins, there will be many jobs that will not be replaced in the United States. These jobs will be “offshored” or replaced by technology. There will continue to be lots of jobs created but at a higher level than jobs that were created after recessions occurring before 1990. In fact, in some areas, there will not be enough workers to fill job openings. That’s the reason I am advocating acquiring indipreneurial skills so that you can find a place in the job market whether or not you work “permanently” for an organization. In my November 21st blog, I wrote about the concept of indipreneurship. I mentioned that there are five lifeskills that are helpful in becoming an indipreneur. You can also look at it this way: these five lifeskills contribute greatly to your life and career sustainability.

I discussed in the blogs of February, March, and April the lifeskill of futuring. After you have envisioned what is likely to happen down the road, another lifeskill that is helpful to employ is that of optimizing. We will spend the remainder of this blog studying that particular concept.

Unemployment is continuing to rise. By now, people were hoping that the unemployment figures would be shrinking, not growing. However, the unemployment rates could reach 10% or more before this deep recession subsides. Many of the businesses that are having trouble in this economy were destined to have trouble later because of inability to compete in the global marketplace. However, the circumstances leading to this recession caused these organizations to face challenges earlier than expected. Many business executives and owners had been living under the delusion that somehow they would be able to compete against ever more crowded markets as the United States continues to immerse itself in the shared global marketplace of products and services. As profit margins thin, corporations must find ways to decrease expenses without raising costs. Labor costs are one area that is being targeted.

In the current atmosphere that exists, it is important to optimize. That means that you are capable of making things better than they are at the current time. In fact, by optimizing, you can carve out a career and life for yourself that you never imagined up to now. Consider this current environment an opportunity to exercise your creative powers.

Any kind of change—including changes in the labor market that are happening today in the United States—can test us in ways that no specific methodology can adequately address. These are times when we can be easily derailed by fear and uncertainty—unless we possess an underlying belief that we have a particular purpose in life that is linked to something greater than ourselves. I personally use situations that might be considered adverse to reflect on the spiritual side of my nature. I am a Christian, and I view God and life through the lens of Christianity. You may have another lens through which you obtain your worldview. That is a very personal issue and is your own personal choice. While it is not my intent to persuade others to believe as I do, I think it is important to search deep inside to find the courage and creativity that can make all things better—however you define that Source in your life. This is not to say that one needs to be religious to optimize his/her life. Nevertheless, the whole idea of working toward positive change implies some degree of faith or hope in the future. Tolstoy wrote that faith is “that by which [people] live.”

This economic recession is generating a great deal of economic pain. However, it is also generating the birth pangs of promise. People have a responsibility to optimize the opportunities that now exist for making better tomorrows. There have been several recessions during my adult life, and I have concluded that all people have a choice of whether or not to mentally participate in a recession. That may seem like a strange statement when experiencing financial challenges; but when optimizing, a person is not mentally participating in an adverse circumstance. People can use this time for innovation and positive change.

There are news stories beginning to crop up about people who are carving out new careers because they have lost their jobs. They report a sense of excitement and satisfaction. The problem propelled them into a great opportunity. Job termination ejected these people from their comfort zones, and they were forced to call on their creativity to move them forward.

Optimizing is available to all of us. I will discuss this topic more deeply in a later blog.

Until next time, keep on enjoying this wonderful summer.

©2009 Carolyn Corbin. All rights reserved.

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