I really dislike the phrase used in the title of this article. I’ve used it, before.

“Seeking New Opportunities”

This phrase can be found on numerous LinkedIn profile descriptions, on any given day. Corporate roles come and go, as sure as the sunrise and sunset happen each day. Thousands of good people eventually lose their jobs. The reasons are many; Industry downturns, weak corporate leadership, mergers, or poor financial performance.

Many times, the catalyst that leaves you unemployed is something beyond your control. It was someone else’s decision. You feel helpless, and cannot do anything about it.

Your response to this unfortunate event is typical. You’ve been here, before. Driven by desperation and anxiety, you review your resume and update it, in hopes of including some magic that will attract the eye of potential employers. You freshen up your LinkedIn account. You comb through your social media accounts, to be sure no red flags are present. You begin reaching out to people you haven’t spoken to in years, feeling awkward about it, asking them for leads or possible jobs.

We hate experiencing this. Yet, so many of us keep placing ourselves into the same situation, time and time again. We keep allowing our livelihood to be controlled by other people. We are always one decision away from being jobless. We are brainwashed by society, and our peers, that this is our only option. We must “find a job” and go work for someone.

I grew up watching my dad getting laid-off a few times, during his oil industry career. I saw the pain and felt the stress levels increase within our household. I’ve been part of three oil downturns myself, in my 25-year career in oil. It seems that every 5-7 years, another wave of cuts comes around, and employees are forced into survival mode. It is such a terrible mindset to have to exist and operate within.

You need to start betting on yourself. You need to stop allowing your career to be someone else’s decision. You’ve invested in yourself. You’ve gained experience and skills. The world needs those from you. Invest in yourself, and learn even more skills and knowledge. This is a never-ending process.

In 2001, I started my first LLC company. There were many years that my income from that side business, exceeded that of my corporate salary. In almost 20 years now, I’ve never had to worry about the downturns. I never had to worry about my bills being paid. I worked corporate roles because I enjoyed many aspects of it. But, I always had a parachute in the form of personal businesses.

You can do this. You need to believe in yourself. Quit focusing on building the dreams of others, and work towards your own. Life is way too short, to just pay bills and die.

Tony