By definition, a crisis of any kind is something we try to avoid. And while we are going through it, all we see and feel is the anguish and pain. But with perspective comes the realization that the occasional crisis is not only a healthy experience but a necessary one. Here's some advice that I hope will help get you through a career crisis.
The Value of the Crisis
The people who succeed in business and in life are those who show the ability to work through adversity and derive lessons from the experience that they can apply in the future. Some refer to this characteristic as resilience, the ability to take a punch, get off the ground and return to the ring. Others associate the trait with the broader concept of emotional intelligence and the capacity to manage oneself emotionally and interpersonally.
In either case, we all understand how overcoming a crisis breeds success and builds character. Yet, most of us spend our lives trying to avoid crises. The point I want to make is that, ultimately, crisis avoidance is not good for us. More precisely, I'm suggesting that there is an inherent value in undergoing professional crisis-not on a constant but an occasional basis.
The 2 Things We Gain from Professional Crisis
There are at least two good things that we can gain from professional crisis:
- The Opportunity to Reflect. Like most executives and managers, safety professionals tend to get so caught up in the day-to-day challenges of their jobs and corporate settings that they don't have the time and energy to step back and think about what they really want in their careers and lives. Crises are valuable because they force individuals to confront their wants, aspirations and goals and determine how best to achieve them.
- A Call to Action. If you've been stuck in a bad career situation and knew that eventually something had to give, getting fired can bring about a sense of relief and liberation. To mangle Shakespeare, many of us so dread the unknown that we're willing to suffer the slings and arrows of our current position. Termination forces us to take arms against the sea of troubles. To put it more mundanely, getting fired is a kick in the butt.
If you'll allow me one more literary reference, the old adage "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger" applies perfectly to the experience of getting fired. Almost all people get fired at least once in their career. Some people never recover; others emerge better for having underwent the experience. If and when your turn comes, you must decide whether the experience is going to kill you or make you stronger.
Next week, we'll break down the mentality of managing the professional crisis.
Wishing you career success,
A Catalog of Facts
|Florida: One of four U.S. states to go
two decades without an earthquake
By Glenn Demby (Lauryn didn't write this. So send your comments to me, firstname.lastname@example.org.)
All I know about earthquakes is what I learned about them in college geology class. I know they happen because of shifts in the earth's plates and that the parts of the surface above the edges of the plates are at the greatest risk. I also know the rough location of the big plates. The catastrophe in China made me realize that I should probably do a little more research on earthquakes and share my findings with SafetyXChange members. My initial idea was to describe the science of plate tectonics. But I found the subject pretty boring and thought a lot of you would, too. So, instead, here's a neat compilation of earthquake facts that I found from the U.S. Geological Survey.
Magnitude & Intensity: The magnitude of an earthquake is the measured value of its size and doesn't vary by location. The intensity of an earthquake is a measure of the shaking it creates and does vary by location.
The Biggest U.S. Earthquake Ever Recorded: A quake with the Richter Scale magnitude of 9.2 struck Prince William Sound, Alaska, on Good Friday, March 28, 1964.
The Biggest World Earthquake Ever Recorded: A 9.5 (Mw) quake that struck Chile on May 22, 1960. (Note: The (Mw) refers to the moment magnitude scale, the successor to the Richter Scale. Read more about this measurement here )
The First Earthquake Ever Reported: In 1769 by an exploring expedition camping about 30 miles southeast of present day Los Angeles.
The Earliest Recorded Evidence of an Earthquake: 1831 BC in the Shandong province of China.
The epicenter of an earthquake is the location on the surface of the earth directly above the point beneath the surface where the rupture of a fault (this point is called the hypocenter) begins.
Earthquakes Per Year: There are about 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. Approximately 100,000 of them are significant enough to be felt; roughly 100 are intense enough to cause damage.
Southern California: Southern California has about 10,000 earthquakes per year but only about 15 to 20 of them exceed magnitude 4.0.
San Francisco Earthquake of 1906: Historians and geologists believe that the bulk of damage done by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was caused not by the quake itself but the fires it triggered.
The San Andreas Fault is not one continuous fault but a fault zone 800 miles long made up of many segments. Movements can occur along any of these segments. Comforting, huh?
Earthquake Weather: There is no such thing as "earthquake weather." Statistically, the number of earthquakes is distributed among all kinds of climates. Moreover, earthquakes are the result of events that occur below the surface where weather has no influence.
States Without Earthquakes: According to the USGS, there were only four states that didn't have any earthquakes from 1975 to 1995: Florida, Iowa, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
The State Most Prone to Earthquakes: Alaska. (Presumably, Yukon would be the part of Canada most prone to quakes.)
Source: U.S. Geological Survey, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learning/facts.php.