With the state of the economy and the bailout plan, everyone is concerned about the stability of jobs and 401(k)s. As an entrepreneur, I understand and appreciate the concern over being able to maintain revenue. Regardless of whether you're a business owner, entrepreneur, or recent grad, the marketplace has everyone uncertain about what tomorrow will hold, but there are a few things that we as women (this applies for guys as well!) can keep in mind to be sure that we are equipped and protected in spite of these uncertain times:
Do Not Panic. A lot of times when we panic we make bad choices. One of the things that I talk about in Skirts in the Boardroom is the importance of emotional intelligence, which is separating emotion from your decision making process. The first thing that is very important is not to panic and to think through decisions and plan. There are many advantages right now -- it's a buyer's market. Real estate and stocks are cheap, plus you can negotiate deals of a lifetime. You need to make wise financial decisions and wise decisions about your career.
Keep Your Resume Up To Date. You never know who you may meet or who may have an opportunity for you, so having your resume up to date is a good way to be prepared for new opportunities that may come your way.
Research Opportunities. Continue to research other potential opportunities that may be out there. That might include other job opportunities. For entrepreneurs, that might mean seeking new client contacts to develop business. Don't be content where you are. Continue to expand your base, expand your network and keep your options open. Nothing is guaranteed, so you need options. Plus, it is taking 6 to 9 months right now to find a new job. It's important to constantly look and understand what other opportunities are available to you.
The misconception is because the economy is bad that there aren't jobs out there, that there aren't new business prospects, and that growth is not happening in other areas. However, that is not the case. There are a lot of companies that are very stable that are still showing record profits. It's important to invest in your career by having your net cast in multiple areas.
Network. Go to networking events, but don't be pushy. The worst thing that people can do at networking events is to immediately come out and say, "I am looking for a job doing x, y, and z," or to be really forceful. As discussed in SKIRTS, when you go to a networking event your goal should be to meet the right people, to make sure that people remember you, and that they want to talk to you more, not to ask anyone for anything.
On the contrary, you should be asking them how you can be of assistance to them. The more you take time to learn about other people and their businesses and what they have going on in their world, the more you can be focused on trying to develop synergy in what they have available and what you might be qualified for.
Believe in Yourself. You have unique talents, abilities, gifts, and skills (T.A.G.S.). Don't forget those things and that your strongest value asset is still in place . . . YOU. Push through frustration. Attitude can make or break you!
As one of the nation's leading experts on the art of maximizing human potential, former Miss America Finalist and Entertainment Attorney, MARSHAWN EVANS is Founder of ME Unlimited (Marshawn Evans Unlimited), a corporate life-enrichment consulting firm focusing on peak performance, diversity, women's empowerment and leadership. She is author of SKIRTS in the Boardroom: A Woman's Survival Guide to Success in Business & Life.