What If… This Is The New Normal?

In the Career section of today’s Wall Street (June 16th) Karina Diaz Cano wrote an article titled “When Tough Times become the Norm.”

Cano briefly explained how she has become acclimatized (my word) to the situation following waves of bad job news from friends and family. The following excerpt summed up her experience:

“With so many of my friends and family out of work, the economic situation and layoff news is something I’ve had to start taking in stride. It’s still not pleasant to receive news of another layoff, but I have become more accustomed to it.”

It’s one thing to become accustomed to what, by many accounts, appears to be a new economic reality, but it’s another thing entirely to give-in to the situation. To be clear, Cano makes no mention of surrender or retreat.

In such a situation, however, too many people will become frustrated and idle. There are several instructive analogies that come to mind, including the frog that ultimately cooks to death in a kettle of tepid water slowly brought to a boil vs. the frog that instantly leaps from a pot of hot water.

My encouragement is to be inspired to action by these situations and start taking steps NOW to prepare and position for the future. No one would wait patiently in a burning building but when careers are in flames I have seen people wait until they are overcome by smoke.

In her article, Cano goes on to muse about the economy presenting new opportunities:

“So perhaps the layoffs were the chance to get to a better next job which we may never have looked for, being in a comfort zone in our former positions.”

YES! I applaud this and add that many people are NOT waiting to respond to such opportunities (see my May 21st post here). An applicable quote was attributed to Abe Lincoln, “Things may come to those who wait – but only the things left by those who hustle.” So true!

My call is clear: if this is the new normal, deal with it. Start searching for ways to be one of those who will look back and talk about how you found opportunity and success in decidedly tough times.

Consider that they still award the surfing championship trophy even when the waves and other conditions are poor. The competition goes on and somebody emerges a winner.

Why not you?

“Sometimes I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear…
And I can’ help but ask myself how much I let the fear take the wheel and steer.”
Drive – Incubus