Career planning can be especially scary during tough economic times. One of your greatest challenges will be separating fact from rumor. There’s always a small group of employees drinking coffee and complaining. Are they right? Or are they fear-mongers to be avoided?
(1) Learn to recognize the difference between good gossip and malicious rumors.
You know you are hearing gossip when someone presents a statement as a fact. For instance, you hear a comment like, “Our boss is interviewing for a new job.”
On the other hand, you will find that rumors are more like predictions for the future. “Our boss will be leaving the company soon.”
Most corporate workers find rumors are harder to deal with than gossip. The reason is that you may feel you need to plan a response to a new situation.
(2) Rather than wonder, “What if the rumor is true?” ask, “What will I be ready to do if it turns out to be true?”
You can’t control whether something will happen. However, you can control how you will plan for your response. If you look around your company and your group of friends, notice how some people seem to be immune from crisis. They tend to be those who have prepared for any contingency.
(3) Keep your game face. When you ask too many questions or show too much conern, you can come across as lacking in confidence and insecure. These qualities will not motivate others to trust you and give you new opportunities, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Ironically, those who are best prepared for a crisis tend to be safest from the worst impact. They present a strong, confident image. They maintain perspective. They stay calm so they avoid stress-related mistakes.
(4) Avoid the temptation to concentrate your energies on work. Invest time in family, friends and recreation. You’ll maintain a healthier perpspective and keep your priorities straight.
(5) Maintain your mental and physical energy. If you’re not active, joining a gym or hiring a trainer should be your top priority. Consider taking classes or starting lessons in an area that’s challenging to you. Obviously, your choice will be individual. For some people, a cooking class will be challenging; for others, cooking feels like drudgery.
Most important, stay away from anyone who constantly expresses negative feelings. If you keep running into people who maintain a gloomy outlook, consider scheduling a call with a coach. You may need to make some modifications in your business and social life so you spend time with positive, upbeat colleagues who can boost your own enthusiasm.Care