The Sound of Axes Falling All Around You

You’re reading that the recession is officially over. Whatever that means.

There is still a lot of fear in the environment and if a boss has to decide between losing her job or you losing yours, guess who gets the pink slip?

Professors on tenure track usually spend a few years of their lives in this same fear. It can suck the life force out of you, if you let it. I have seen with my own eyes brilliant people groveling at work…it’s not a pretty sight. The trick is to remember that you really, in the end, work for yourself, on commission, no matter what.

When you take your power back and stop being scared of what others (or the economy, or politics, or your mean ex-girlfriend) can DO TO YOU, you step into the true reality where you get to decide each day how to create your life. — Christine Kane

I would add to her list of “others” entities like tenure committees and senior management.
I know some Mixonian readers work in environments of potential job losses, non-renewal of contracts, and losing key customers. While it is definitely challenging, it is possible to NOT make the situation worse by ruminating, complaining, whining, or criticizing the powers that be.
Here are some practical things you can do to make yourself stronger:
1. Remember that no matter what happens, you will be fine and you will get through this. Spending down savings, living off unemployment benefits, and cutting expenses is not fun, but it can be done and it’s not fatal.
2. Act as though you’re already 100% on your own. Your employer is your customer and you do your best work for this customer, but you’re on the lookout for new customers. I strongly suggest you use Twitter to connect professionally with new people. Beef up your own public relations plan. Consider getting professional help with this.
3. Make lists of all the things you can think of to build your customer base. Complete those actions, even if you only have time for one action a day. To get your brain thinking along these lines, I recommend Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. Or attend a seminar or workshop to put energy to productive use.
4. If for any reason your situation is such that you have more down time, get more exercise!

If you train your mind to focus on your strengths and your contributions, not neediness, you significantly strengthen your position, no matter what happens.

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