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Has Your Career Gone Flat? – Pre-#MTtalk Blog…

This week’s #MTtalk tweet chat looks at what you’ve done and what you can do if your career has gone flat.

Please join us!

What: #MTtalk

Where: Twitter

When: Oct 23, @ 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. GMT / 10:30 p.m. IST)

Topic: Has Your Career Gone Flat?

Host: @Mind_Tools

About this week’s chat

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher

If nothing else, 2020 taught us how to creatively “go on holiday.” Friends of mine pitched a tent in their yard, and although they used their home’s “ablution facilities,” they were disciplined enough to cook on a little camping stove for five days.

I’m bad like that. Camping isn’t my thing. But going on holiday definitely is my thing. And if, like me, you’re a pet owner, you’ll know how much trouble we’ll go to in order to find the perfect boarding kennels for our pets. Or the best house-cum-pet-sitter in town – possibly in the world.

Thanks to the pandemic, our carefully planned April holiday turned out to be a non-event. Our country, South Africa, was firmly in lockdown, with no internal or external travelling allowed. And as we weren’t going anywhere, Kaiser (my late Rottweiler) wasn’t going anywhere either.

Career Opportunities

And while I felt a little “hard done by” (by life, the universe and everything) because our safari had been postponed, someone I know (and appreciate) had a struggle of a different kind.

Tatjana manages the boarding kennels (or “dog cabanas” as she calls them) that Kaiser used to go to. She doesn’t just manage a kennel. Tatjana has always made it her business to pay attention to the pet owners and to get to know them well. So she doesn’t just take care of your pet – she loves it, spends time with it, and makes it feel “at home.”

Not long before the lockdown started, the owner of the pet lodge purchased a second pet-boarding business. Tatjana was going to run that, too, but on a profit-share basis. This was a prospect that excited her.

Averting a Career Crisis

But while some of us were in the fortunate position of being able to work remotely, Tatjana wasn’t one of them. Pets can’t “board” remotely. I saw her Facebook posts, “heard” the devastation in her “voice.”

What would have been a good year, with great career prospects, turned into a year of little income and much uncertainty.

However, while in lockdown, Tatjana enrolled for two short courses in different animal training and psychology disciplines. The second course was specifically about helping dog owners to understand the underlying psychology of so-called “difficult” dogs – and how to cope with them.

Lift-Off, Sooner Than Expected

No sooner had Tatjana shared on Facebook that she had enrolled for the course, when her post was flooded with comments. Almost every person asked if they could book in advance, or said they’d be happy to pay her extra to do one-on-one sessions at home with them! Some even asked if they could pay a deposit to secure her services!

While the pet lodge has reopened, business is still extremely slow. The purchase of the second pet lodge fell through. So now that opportunity for Tatjana has disappeared.

But she is fully booked until mid-January, doing personal consultations to help people with their “difficult” dogs. What could have been a complete disaster has become an opportunity for Tatjana to explore a different side of a career she loves. Taking care of animals in one way or another.

Why? Why? Why?

Not all careers that go flat do so as a result of a major event such as the pandemic. A person’s career can lose its “fizz” because it has become boring, they’ve lost interest, they’re not advancing as fast as they expected, or their soft skills don’t match their hard skills.

Has Your Career Gone Flat?

During the #MTtalk Twitter chat this week, we’re going to talk about careers that had or have gone flat – and what to do about it. In our poll this week, we asked how you feel when you think about your career plans.

It’s telling that 52 percent of participants selected “feel lost/disoriented,” while only 17 percent chose “feel excited.” See all the options and results here.

We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

  • How do you feel when you think about your career: excited or anxious? Why?
  • What are the signs that your career has gone flat?
  • In what way has the pandemic affected your career plans?
  • What have you done in the past to boost your career? How did it help you?
  • What new skills have you gained as a result of the pandemic? How/why?
  • Has anyone noticed?
  • How can you make your achievements more visible and valued?
  • Which activity can you start now that would be most beneficial in achieving your career goals?

Resources

To help you to prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse:

Rebooting Your Career

Locus of Control

Surviving a Merger

How to Recover From Job Loss

Into the Deep End

Kelley and Conner’s Emotional Cycle of Change

Mindfulness

Physical Relaxation Techniques

Toffler’s Stability Zones

Centering

How to Collaborate Successfully

How to join

Follow us on Twitter to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat.

To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “Latest” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.


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