So the economy is slowing down and business confidence is falling as governments step into bail out financial institutions.
Does that just mean doom and gloom? For some people, maybe. But for forward-thinking individuals it's a tremendous opportunity to reinvent themselves rather than worrying about all the headlines of recession and downturn.
As many firms go through the painful process of reinventing themselves to meet the demands of a new market place and economy, reinventing yourself and your career is exactly what you should be focused on right now - regardless of whether you have been impacted by restructuring and redundancy.
Here are 5 tips about reinventing your career during a tough market:
1. Stay informed (within reason)
You need to know what is going on in the market-place so that you can evolve to meet the changing needs of the market. But you don't need to read every doom and gloom prediction that's written.
Overdosing on apocalyptic news stories and dire predictions does nothing more than paralyse you with fear - which in turn means you end up doing nothing. 'Doing nothing' is a bad strategy when everything around you is changing so fast.
2. Stay focused on your strengths
Firms in most sectors are rationalising their business to focus on their areas of strength - the core activities where they are uniquely placed to offer the most value to the market.
That's precisely what you should be doing right now: focusing on reinventing yourself around your key strengths and unique talents and then offering them to organisations (your own or others) that can benefit from them.
3. Focus on fun
Yes, you read right - "fun"
Trying to reinvent yourself into a role that you think you ought to or that other people think "would be a good idea for you" is not a good idea. Any change process involves hard work, hitting brick walls and enduring set-backs.
If you're chasing something which you have little enthusiasm for, then you have little chance of overcoming those set-backs or scaling those brick walls. So focus on indentifying roles which involve activities which you enjoy. Jobs which will utilise the skills which you enjoy using and enable you to work with the people you enjoy engaging with.
4. Experiment much more
Some people know they want to change themselves and their careers, but they just don't know what to change themselves into.
Well here's a secret - you don't need to know. The only way to find out is to start the process of experimentation. Go shadow someone, volunteer your services, go out and try lots of types of roles. And then start noticing what you're drawn to - what you're drawn to is usually a good sign of the type of thing you should be transitioning into.
5. Stay focused on the dream
Most people have some kind of dream. A vision or grand plan for the future lifestyle which they want. It's something that excites them yet scares them at the same time. Now is the time to take notice of that dream. A tough market is an opportunity to tap into that dream - reinvention is the vehicle to help you get there much faster than you had imagined.
So tell me, what's the dream you've always kept to yourself? How can you use this reinvention process you're embarking on to keep you on track for that compelling vision? Can you in fact go ahead and do it now?
'Reinvention' sounds like a very grand term - something that is the reserve of politicians, actors and showbiz personalities. But that's really not the case. We're all reinventing ourselves throughout our lives and our careers. Reinvention is part and parcel of your growth and development. In terms of your career, all you're doing is moving from one chapter to the next.
In the globalised and interconnected world we now live in, restructuring is part of everyone's career and so we will all have far more chapters to our careers than previous generations. Which of course means you potentially have many more stories to tell your grandchildren when you retire.
So treat the current events in the economy as an opportunity to begin that next chapter of your own career. An opportunity to write your own story instead of letting your employers or the headline writers write it for you.