Chris Bigelow

Disparate thoughts and musings…

Career Transition

Sometimes we orchestrate our own career transitions and sometimes they are orchestrated for us.  My current transition is of the latter type, my position (along with many others) having been eliminated in mid-February as a result of the current economic recession.  No doubt these are tough times – certainly this worst economically in my lifetime – but opportunities are still available if you know how and where to look.

When I graduated college I believe they told us to expect something like four to five transitions during our careers; I believe they now say you should expect something closer to ten.  That’s a change every three to four years on average.  I read somewhere this morning that 5-30 jobs in one’s lifetime is “normal”.  Wow! The moral of the story is: nothing lasts forever and we all need to develop and maintain the knowledge and skills to find our next position or career.

Gone are the days when you could work an entire career with a single employer.  There is still job security, but it has morphed.  Today, your job security is no longer your employer’s responsibility but yours: it is your personal blend of skills, experience, problem solving ability and attitude that provides your security.  The key is delivering a value proposition that an employer wants to buy from you because you can solve their problems and improve their profitability.  After all – in the end, isn’t that what business is all about?

7 Comments»

  Jeffrey Kocian wrote @

I too was with a large company for also 22 years and was caught in a restructuring and downsizing. I was alway aware that I could be part of that downsizing, but was actually a little surprized when I was one of the “bodies” that would be part of their reduction in force plan. I thought that since I made significant contributions to the growth and profitabiltiy of the company, they would allow me to continue to contribute into the future. Well, I was wrong. When I look back at my career I am satifisfied that I was able to achieve some significant goals and had a great time doing so. I learned a lot about leading an organization, working with people, fostering shareholder value and about myself. What I did not learn well was to prepare for a transition into a new career. I like you have now begun a new chapter in my career and I have to say that I am having a good time looking for a new career. Why? Because I have really begun to learn and value the importance of buidling and maintaining a network of friends and colleges. I have also learned that there are a lot of really great people out there that are willing to help you and equally important are willing to accept that help thay oneself is able to offer to them. In closing, while this career shift was my first and will no doubt not be my last, I will continue to grow and nurture the relationships that I have made and will continue to make into the future. Good luck on your transition into the future.

  John O’Leary wrote @

Nice post Chris. Your comment about taking responsibility for your own job security is right on. Job security is the sum of your skills and training and everyone needs to manage them like a portfolio. I am constantly encouraging my guys to take advantage of employer sponsored tuition reimbursement programs. What a great way to invest in yourself. Good luck with your search!

  Bill Griffin wrote @

Hey Chris, The Blog looks great!! I like that beach is that you and your boat?
Congratulations, I hope this speeds up the process for you.

Cheers,
Billy Griffin

  David Coons wrote @

Hi Chris,
The layout of the blog is fantastic. Congratulations. I look forward to reading it.

Rgds,
David

  Chris Bigelow wrote @

Jeff, John, Bill, David – thanks for the compliments and encouragement. It’s a brave new world out there.

  David Coons wrote @

Chris,
I was caught in my only only restructuring 6 years ago. This is significant for me because it lead me to one of the most fantastic opportunities in my life.

I moved to Brazil with my family.

At first I began looking for a finance type of position; but, we discovered franchising and I opened up an English school franchise from ground 0. There are close to 200 of this brand name throughout Brazil. It was very successful and taught me alot about being an entrepreneur.

This was probably one of the most incredible experiences in my life and never would have happened if I wasn’t liberated from company 6 years ago.

Rgds,
David

  Ron Puchebner wrote @

Chris,
Love the new blog, very impressive!! Can’t wait to follow your blog.

regards,
Ron


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