That means that, given the reality of job bias, getting and keeping employment will be a work-in-progress. There are no guaranteed trajectories. 2013 was one of the most lucrative in operating my executive-communications boutique. 2014 was barely profitable.
So, we have to be vigilant about trends where the opportunities are, where they are no longer and what are the new ways to leverage them for income. No, there's no settling in.
According to an AARP Policy Institute survey, reports Richard Eisneberg in Forbes, the majority of us have managed to find work during the past five years. Few of us escaped that Perfect Storm: The bundling of a severe economic downturn with the disruption of a tech economy. But, we're back.
The negative side of that, notes AARP, is that about 48 percent of us are earning less than we had in our former jobs.
The positive is that 29 percent are earning more than before. The latter surprised those conducting the survey. I explain that development as our ability to learn from (brutal) experience. Forced out of our professional comfort zone, we had to break away from our assumptions of how the world of work ought to operate. Instead we had to see what was really going on and figure out how to make income.
The game became all about demand. That keeps shifting. Ghostwriting and speechwriting tanked at the turn of the century. Now, it's back. At least currently. I've added that back to the menu of services I offer. For now.
What our game plan also requires is insight on how to emotionally, physically and spiritually manage all the change. We are being forced to learn how to take care of ourselves. For me, that entailed pruning my social network.
I got the start on that in 2011 by reading, several times, Henry Cloud's "Necessary Endings." It spells out the need to lop off the past, especially relationships, and rituals that might be helpful with the mourning and letting go. I was not alone in requiring that guidance. Here it is 2015, and the book still ranks in the 8,000 category on Amazon.com.
Among what I had to let go of was the vestige of my college years at Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Sure, there are those who remain enthusiastic about attending college reunions. When I lived near Yale, alumni entered the buildings with a spring to their step. Their joy was palpable.
The tough nut to crack, when it comes to the past, has been the supposed sacredness of old friendships. Those also include family members. It might be necessary to take an annual audit of those in our lives and make the commitment to eliminate at least 20 percent.