How to Think About Your Career Path in Uncertain Times

~ 3 minute read

There is a huge amount of uncertainty and uneasiness in our world and in our lives at the moment.

Headline stress disorder is a thing now. In fact, the world seems to be very good at making worry, anxiety, apathy, dread, and fear an art form.

It’s true that when you take into consideration our current turbulent global situation, a clearcut and lifelong career path is no longer guaranteed — or practical for that matter.

If you add in the even wider anxiety and uncertainty about the future, feelings of worry and loss of control are definitely understandable.

So how are you supposed to plan for the future when the future seems so unsettled?

Uncertainty is more constant than you think. If you look at history, there have always been times of uncertainty. Those times taught us important things. Things like resiliency, courage, wisdom, humbleness, and hope.

History taught us that we had no option but to move forward in times of distress, to recognize our mistakes, and to learn from them. That is how we have survived so far, as people and as a world-wide community.

How you deal with these uncertain times will determine your path. How you manage change and prepare yourself mentally for the unexpected can give you a competitive advantage. Having an optimistic outlook and seeing opportunities in front of you instead of obstacles can make all the difference.

Many companies are now focused on making a positive impact in this world, and are open to doing things in non-traditional ways. They are accepting and coping with today’s new normal and are maneuvering themselves through unknown territory. This mindset, or mental toughness, in approaching uncertainty head-on is something that will soon become part of any job description.

Have you put making a career decision on the back-burner for now because of the current environment? Remember, when challenging times come our way, we have the choice to shrug our shoulders, give up and shut down, or to take action.

The thing is this: uncertainty can either paralyze or liberate us. The emotion of uncertainty can unlock fear, but it can also move us to discover new thoughts, beliefs, and strategies.

Try the following:

  • Define what you want. Become clear in the direction you’d like to go in.
  • Take the first step. Go towards uncertainty. Action squashes fear.
  • Focus on the right now. What might happen in the future sprouts anxiety and will paralyze you.
  • See the opportunities around you. Don’t dwell on the obstacles.
  • Prepare yourself for an interesting ride. Life doesn’t always go the way you plan it!

Uncertainty is a given. The only thing in your way is your own response to it. Just know that the forces that push against you are also the ones that make you stronger and more resilient — both in your personal life and in your career.

Not sure what your next step should be? Take the CareerExplorer career test and uncover your top career and degree matches. This could be just the starting point you need!

We think a big part of career success is being able to connect, ask questions, and share our experiences with others.

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