Down Economy, Down Morale, Down and Out……Only if You Choose to Be!

October 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm 5 comments

Featured Guest Blogger: Anthony Fasano, P.E., CPC, LEED AP
Maser Consulting
Associate Civil Engineer and Certified Professional Career Development Coach
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I have given many surveys to civil engineers through social media with regards to career development and advancement.  Lately I have found that due to the economy many companies have been making changes with their staff in any way possible to stay as efficient as possible.  This has resulted in many engineers having been forced to take on roles that they may not want or enjoy.

Many engineers have been asked to relocate to other office locations based on workload, increasing their commute and putting them in an uncomfortable atmosphere.  Other engineers have been transferred to other departments based on workload.  So you may have been working on private development projects for the past 5 years and all of a sudden you find yourself out doing bridge inspections.

How do you maintain productivity and passion in your day-to-day career when you are taken out of your desired role and/or location?  Here are a few recommendations to keep your attitude and energy up while going through this situation:

  1. Be thankful for your job as there are currently many people without one.     This doesn’t mean to be happy with your job, you don’t want to create a mindset that this job is “good enough” for me or that you are just going to accept it, the truth is you don’t have to.
  2. Paint yourself a very clear picture of the job you would eventually like to have.  Be specific by listing the type of projects you would like to work on, your role on those projects, the general location of the projects if that matters, etc.
  3. Review your current day-to-day activities and see where the experience you are currently gaining will be helpful in your ideal role, once you achieve it.  For example, if you have been re-assigned to manage something other than your ideal role, take the time now to improve your managerial skills which will apply in both situations.
  4. During these times, strengthen existing and build new relationships both within your company and throughout the industry.  Take advantage of any downtime you have to re-connect with existing and prospective clients as well as other industry professionals.  Attend more professional society events, with the idea that the more relationships you build, the more opportunities that will be available to you.
  5. Do one thing each day, no matter how small that will help you in achieving your ideal job or role.  This might be an e-mail, phone call, internet research, read an inspirational article or quote, etc.

One thing that a professional coach helps people to do is realize the opportunity in every situation.  Every time something you perceive as “negative” happens, ask yourself the following question, “Where is the opportunity in this situation?”  You will be amazed at the list of positives that you will draw from a perceived “negative” situation.

The key is not to give up on what you’re passionate about doing, just because of the current industry situation or economic climate.  Yes things are tough and we all have financial responsibilities and this is the time when we may have to accept roles that we aren’t comfortable with to survive.  However the job that you want is out there somewhere until you decide that it is not!

I’ll leave you with a quote to help raise your attitude and energy up a level…..

“Everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances – to choose one’s own way.”  – Victor Frankl

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. John Harman  |  May 5, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Excellent Article, Just what I needed to read this morning.

  • 2. Suraj Singh  |  November 4, 2009 at 3:14 am

    Yeah, we should keep our morale high through positive thinking. Economy changes every moment and there is always something to do, so do what is your second or third or so on…. priority, till economy turn in your favour.

  • 3. Jhois Caballes  |  November 4, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Thank you for this. I’m in this kind of situation right now and this article made me change my current outlook on it.Hopefully it brings positive and constructive output on my end.Keep it up..

  • 4. Jeannine Wirth  |  October 29, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Great article. I totally agree with your assessment of the situation and encouragement to be thankful that you have a job and continue to take steps toward your ultimate goal and dream job. Managers should also keep in mind the feelings of their employees and make extra efforts to communicate regular and often the decisions and directions of the organization to reduce fear and frustration.

  • 5. Babette Burdick  |  October 21, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Great post! It is so important to keep your eye on your personal horizon in spite of rough waters in between,.In these trying times, we all must seize the day rather than succumb to the moment.


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