Guest post by Simon North, Founder of Position Ignition and creator of the Career Ignition Club.
There are some things in life that can potentially be career ending, such as a life threatening illness, a chronic medical condition or time spent in prison. However, none of these things have to mean that you can never work again.
Read on for tips on how to deal with these issues in a way that allows you to continue to work.
Understand what your situation means for you. You need to be aware of what’s possible and what isn’t.
Look at the personal energy you bring to the situation. This is about your determination. Whatever happens, it is your career to manage. Nobody can live our lives for us.
Understand what your situation means for your employer. Put yourself in the position of your supervisor, your colleagues, your HR manager or whomever it may be and think hard about what they need to know, what they need to do and what risks they may need to take. When you do this, you can look more clearly at the situation between you and them. Then you can see, in a more clear and balanced way, how you want things to be.
Think about possible risks. After identifying what issues or risks there may be, think about what ways there are to manage through them or around them. Sort out which of the really big ones need to be dealt with first.
Consider how honest you need to be about your situation. This is not to suggest you should be dishonest, but do think about whether people need to know everything. Think about what they need to know and what additional information you would want to give them. You may come to the conclusion that there are certain things that are useful or absolutely fundamental to know, but then there are also areas of discretion.
Try to mitigate risks. Recognise that if you have a difficult past or an awkward present, you are going to be a risk to any organisation that wants to employ you. Think about how you can mitigate that risk and what you can do to help employers make the decision to take you on.
Focus on your development. Show your commitment to your own personal growth and to any contribution that you can make to your employer going forward, by focusing on how you can further develop yourself. Examine your earning and identify what help you need in this area. Organisations may well have a fear of the risks associated with employing you, but you can alleviate that fear by letting them know what you’re doing in order to grow both as a person and as a professional.
Stay focused. This is your situation. This is your career and this is your life. Nobody can get in the way of you doing what you believe is right for you to do.
Find a clear pathway. There will always be a clear path that you can find. You can then pursue your professional career in spite of the difficult circumstances that you’re either living with or have been through.
Examine your capabilities. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t still be capable of doing many, many things, so identify areas where you can use your capabilities.
About the author
Simon North is the Founder of Position Ignition, one of the UK’s leading career consultancy companies which created the Career Ignition Club, a leading-edge online careers support and learning platform. Follow him @PosIgnition