CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JAN. 30, 2015
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How to Handle your Career Journey When Going Solo

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We live in a world where people are so busy with tasking jobs and tight schedules. And in some instances, social interaction is almost impossible. The very few precious moments of social interaction that we do get are spent with close friends and family. So it shouldn’t sound far-fetched that many people today are going solo on their career journey. They don’t even remember the last time they attended a career event. Heck! They might actually be reading this article by mere chance. In any case, being busy isn’t the only reason why many people today are riding their own career boat. For instance, we’ve got people who...

Have job insecurity issues to deal with


Take for instance someone that’s well paid despite their easy going job:

  • They might be afraid that as soon as they share their career story, people might become judgmental and jealous which means that soon enough, colleagues will be competing for the same job.
  • There is also the issue of social and economic class whereby some people actually feel a bit uncomfortable when sharing their stories with people who don’t belong to their social class.

Are ashamed of their current preoccupation


Many jobs today generally have superficial and presumptuous outward appearances:

  • From a public relations perspective, an employee is generally perceived to be happy and contented.
  • But as we all know, many workplaces are laden with a variety of inconsistencies and anomalies.
  • If an employee in such a situation dares to blow the whistle, then they risk losing their one and only source of income.
  • So you might find that besides job insecurities, there are those that are genuinely ashamed of their current preoccupation, especially when comparing it with others.

Have become introverts as a result of their secluded work environment


A good example of this situation is those currently engaged in freelancing gigs:

  • They are technically their own boss, employee, HR and public relations manager.
  • They get to handle transactions by determining their payment rate and receiving payments from clientele.  
  • This sort of independence, especially in a secluded working environment, can make one feel like help from others is an inconvenience of sorts.
  • It’s not that they hate social interaction. It’s just that social interaction is nowhere close to their main objective. In any case, what’s an introvert to begin with?

How then does one handle their career journey when going solo?


It is important to note here that going solo on your career progress is not a problem as such. But instead, it is a challenge because friends come and go. Plus at times, you’ll feel abandoned and forgotten about, yet your career has to go on. That being said, how does one handle their career progress when going solo?

#1 Take advantage of media facilities at your disposal


Going solo doesn’t mean that you have to live on a career island. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself condoning some career mediocrity since you lack a motivating benchmark to keep you aiming for excellence. So it wouldn’t hurt to allow some outside influence to shape your career. And though you may not have sufficient time for social interaction, there are certainly media facilities at your disposal that you can take advantage of:

  • For instance, I’m sure you know of several career talk shows on radio and TV.
  • Newspapers and social media platforms are also filled with people that constantly share their career success stories and experiences.
  • Then of course, we cannot forget to mention blogs like careeraddict.com that have a wide range of career topics to choose from.
  • In essence ladies and gentlemen, everyone is spoilt for choice.

#2 Assess your career challenges from a personal management perspective


There is a particular reason why I gave the example of freelancers being independent and multitasking on their careers. In this case, you’ll have to manage various aspects of your career:

  • Therefore, for you to realize the personal management roles you’ll play in managing your career journey, you’ll have to consider the challenges at hand.
  • If there are past and present challenges to deal with, list them down.
  • Also consider the future challenges you’re likely to face because the last thing you want is to be caught off-guard by emerging challenges.

#3 Look at the Bright Side of Going Solo


Again, freelancers tend to count their blessings even during the most turbulent and lonely of times. They really don’t have the luxury to wallow in self-pity and self-doubt. Instead, freelancers adapt a win-win mentality irrespective of their situations:

  • So you’ve got to stop stereotyping personal career management as a lonely affair.
  • Instead, you should focus on the strengths you’re likely to manifest by going solo. It might be that you manifest lots of self-drive, tenacity and a serious knack for intense hard work. Or maybe it’s an independent aspect of life that isn’t swayed easily by peer pressure.
  • Ultimately, you can’t pull this through without looking at the bright side of it.

Everyone is on a unique career journey coupled with its own unique set of challenges. So really, you shouldn’t feel awkward for going solo. Instead, you should consider it as an outstanding trait, embrace your present circumstances and exploit them to the max. As Orison Swett Marden once said,

"Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great."

’Orison Swett Marden’

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