A little over a week ago, my professional life took a big twist...my boss shared that the outlook was not looking solid and that he had to make some key decisions related to cutting team members and operational expenses. We both agreed that I could stay on an continue to do contract work. I'm totally thankful that the worse case did not occur (being unemployed all together) but my income was going to be impacted. Being through crisis before, I quickly pivoted and realized that this may be a positive thing. I spent the weekend putting together my consulting/contract Business Development practice, developing my website, and getting some initial "feelers" out to key contacts in my network.
Fast forward to this morning, I have two contracts executed and one in contract negotiation with a global technology leader. Additionally, several meetings this week with Fortune 100 companies and banks.
Reflecting this morning, I've learned or had several life lessons reinforced during this global health/economic recession. They include the following:
1) Network is your lifeline! The quality of your network is everything. Nurture it, protect it, and keep building it!
2) Humility..practice it! Ask for assistance and extend a helping hand to others that are in need of assistance as well.
3) You're not the Center of Attention! No one (not even your closest friends) wake up daily thinking about you and your situation. Develop your cadence to keep them advised and nurture them with insights as well (frequently).
4) Know Your Value & What Sets You Apart! You have to be able to clearly and concisely what makes you of value to an employer or client. Test and refine that message daily. Is it resonating? Does it have truth and actions behind it?
5) Focus on what you can control today/this week! No regrets...take the life lessons and the professional skills from your past and align to where the needs are today..this quarter..this year and beyond.
6) Reflect and Schedule This Time! Take a note pad with you and just reflect on what's happened, the key lessons, and how you can drive key actions to grow even stronger.
7) Develop Your Transition Road Map! How will you transition into a new job or opportunity? Outline and plan your steps in writing. Review it daily and measure your progress.
8) Spend and invest time with your loved ones (virtual is better than none at all)! You truly realize how important it is to have those closest to you that love you and care about you. Give back that time lost in past professional endeavors and enjoy them.
9) Pursue Ventures & Opportunities Aligned with your passion! So key to go after opportunities that you sincerely are interested and don't waste time going after "easy"/"not passionate" about opportunities.
10) Practice Faith and Positivity: Whether it's your religious faith or some other source of positive reinforcement, use and conduct this daily!
I have to admit that following all of these is hard work and effort. Some days..I'm on track and finishing the race in front. Some days...I barely get off the starting line. It's ok...get back up and the most important lesson from all of this....DON'T QUIT!
- Authored by Matt Slonaker, Founder, Principal & Head Advisor of M. Allen