Career "Sky Diving"

  • Dec 22, 2005
  • Vicky Smith
  • Career advancement

Today’s workplace is a fast-moving conveyor belt where complex changes move at hyper speed through organizations. Employees are expected to fuel the conveyor belt by doing or learning more but told don’t expect any job security. The picture I conjured while contemplating the conundrum of job expectations is that it’s like sky diving.  We are constantly leaping into unknown changes and not sure if when we manage through this change or land we will be secure.


Packing the parachute is one of the most important activities before sky diving.  To manage through the turbulent air when career sky diving we need to pack our parachutes with key essentials so when we leap out of the next plane of change we are prepared.


Those essentials are developing resiliency and overcoming barriers to continuous learning.  Pam Lassiter in ‘The New Job Security’ states “There is job security – the ‘new job security’ is centered in you not in a company.”  We can control whether we have job or employability security by packing crucial skills that develop resiliency and encourage continuous skill enhancement.


Resiliency is the ability to bounce back. The obvious stress and anxiety experienced in the workplace demonstrates that our ability to bounce back from negative experiences is very low.  It is much easier to adopt a victim mentality then to proactively pack our parachute with essentials that develop our resiliency.   The essentials are:


Ø       It is a proven fact that being physically fit and healthy gives us the capacity to deal better with stressful situations

Ø       Except mistakes as learning experiences.  Not just your own but your bosses, co-workers or the fathom dictates from head office that go awry.  The competition in all business arenas is intense and there isn’t a template for decision makers to follow – they are making it us as they fiercely compete for market share

Ø       Stop blaming your employer because we are experiencing a global phenomenon of unprecedented change – it’s not about you

Ø       Manage your fear by getting your finances in order, developing your marketable skills and expanding your business network


The road blocks used to barricade “new job security” are:

Ø       not enough time

Ø       too tired because working so hard

Ø       family commitments

Ø       financial restraints and a myriad of other excuses 


We cleverly shift having to take responsibility to becoming the victim of the cult of busyness.

Barbara Moses, in the article ‘Seven Steps to Revitalizing a Career in the Doldrums’ talks about rejecting the cult of busyness. The website for the article is:          

She states, “Being busy doesn't make you important, it just makes you, well, busy. You cannot be all things to all people. One comment I often hear from over burdened managers and employees is, I'm not happy, but I just don't have any choice. I don't have time to do what I want to do."

She goes on to say that “many people become paralyzed in their careers because they think they'll have to give up something to achieve a new goal. In the end, they do nothing. Instead of thinking about what you may be giving up, consider the opportunities you are freeing up for yourself. It's indeed possible to have it all, but not necessarily all at once.” 


By giving into the cult of busyness we block a key cornerstone to developing resiliency by believing we don’t have the time to continue our education.  If you have not learned a new skill in the last year how can you expect job security?  We need to shed entitlement thinking for possibility thinking.  Possibility thinking is taking small steps to expand our skill repertoire for the rest of our working career. 

Picture a sky diver careening effortlessly over a spectacular landscape, pulling her parachute cord with confidence and landing securing two feet on the ground.  That can be you as a career sky diver.  Landing job security means setting goals to develop resiliency and developing your skills.  As always the choice is yours.