It happens to the very best of us.
We’re riding a wave of success – scaling our personal brand and financial rewards – when suddenly a crisis ensues, threatening to turn our good fortune into a dark gray cloud of despair.
Perhaps it is a health setback or a death in the family. Perhaps it is a financial disaster—someone steals your identity and ruins your credit. Or perhaps, after relocating your family across country and buying a new home, you took an assignment at Solyndra.
How we handle sudden crisis determines whether we wither in its face or rise stronger, smarter, and nimbler.
Here are 5 Great Career Strategies To Turn Sudden Crisis Into Advantage. Adopting these will help you remain strong and relevant when fortune turns from good to bad:
- Know who to trust. I often say to my teenager, “you probably have all of the friends you’ll ever need.” While some of the best friends in her life she has yet to meet, the close ones she has now will likely last a lifetime. We should instinctively know who in our inner circle we can trust most when working through our difficult challenges. But sometimes, when we are at our most vulnerable, we unwisely let down our hair to subtle deceivers who feign trustworthiness and take advantage of [our] disadvantage. So, trust your gut, and trust the close friends you already have, whether at work or not, to navigate you back to solid footing.
- Ask for help. The most successful among us—the ones who deal best with bad fortune and turn it into a positive—always ask for help. A sudden health event can pull you away and ultimately kill your career in short order. As soon as bad stuff happens, pull together the talent resources you need to make sure your work gets delivered well and your brand and reputation continue to thrive.
- Be patient with yourself. Self-patience is not a common behavioral indicator among brazen careerists, especially when bad fortune happens. But the most successful among us withstand crises well. We’ll have our fits and starts, but we’ll grow large over the long haul with patience in mind.
- Get your name out there. In good times or bad, publish your thought-leadership in places like LinkedIn Pulse. Accept speaking assignments to extend awareness for your personal brand. Get comfortable engaging with new connections. The more you’re known, the better your chances.
- Develop a plan. Reach out to your professional network. Few in our growing space will penalize you for landing at a company whose great good fortunes suddenly turned to dust. Those among us who rely on our professional networks reconnect our careers much faster—and stronger—than those who don’t.
Remember this: your best days lie ahead.