Piloting Your Career through Turbulent Economic Seas

By Almy, Robert E.; Harris, Vivian | Communication World, December 1991 | Go to article overview

Piloting Your Career through Turbulent Economic Seas


Almy, Robert E., Harris, Vivian, Communication World


Piloting your career through turbulent economic seas

In today's world, the business communicator's career is like a ship being tossed by turbulent seas. Mergers, hostile takeovers, downsizings, the savings and loan crisis, and layoffs are factors contributing to these stormy waters. In addition, baby boomers, those people born between 1946 and 1964, are an occupationally restless group. Security and a good paycheck are not enough to satisfy them. They have and will continue to have the tendency to change jobs and even career fields often. In light of these trends, careers can capsize and sink unless sound planning measures are undertaken.

Career planning is a skill that can be learned. Historically many people have engaged in career planning using what can best be described as the "dart" approach. Imagine a dartboard with several careers in communication adhered to it. Then imagine someone throwing a dart at the board. Whatever career area is hit by the dart is the one that is pursued. Obviously this is not exactly how it happens. Nevertheless, variations of this method are used, including the one where you look through the newspaper at random seeking jobs that sound appealing. This method is risky and not very productive in the long run. People usually put more thought into planning their vacations than in planning their careers.

So how can the professional communicator engage in productive career planning? First and foremost, it is important to get in touch with your dreams. While it is important to be practical in planning careers, most people actually err on the side of being practical. Career planning is a whole-brained activity. Start by getting in touch with the right side, which is the intuitive, creative part of your brain.

Step one

Imagine what your ideal career day would be like, and write it down on a piece of paper. This technique is extremely powerful, so try it now. Pretend that you have no constraints such as time or money, which can cause you to worry and can alter your thinking from the creative side. Describe your job duties, hours, people you work with, and anything you feel is important. Don't analyze or be critical. Once you are finished writing out your dream career, you can go back and analyze and look for clues. One woman who did this exercise wrote that she wanted to be president of the United States. In analyzing what she wrote, she realized that her fantasy of being president reflected her need to lead and direct others. One man saw himself as a busy consultant who was writing books, publishing a national newsletter, and giving advice to CEOs of medium-sized companies in a variety of industries. In analyzing what he wrote, he determined three important priorities for his entrepreneurship. Give yourself time to think about what you wrote. As you continue to do your career planning, the significance of what you wrote will become clear.

Step two

The next step in career planning is to get to know yourself. As you mature, you change, and it is important to be in touch with new aspects of yourself. Think of the self as a jigsaw puzzle. When the pieces are put together, a pattern will emerge. There are several aspects of the self to consider regarding one's career. One important aspect of the self is personality. For instance, if you are an analytical person who also is an introvert, you will be happier in a different type of communication job than the bubbly extrovert. There are several excellent personality tests that can give you some valuable insight. Examples of the good inventories include The Performax Personal Profile, John Holland Self-Directed Search, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Many colleges and universities have career centers that administer these and other tests.

Your values are another aspect of the self that you will want to consider. The term "values" does not refer to ethics, but instead refers to what is important to you. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Piloting Your Career through Turbulent Economic Seas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.