Instability and unpredictably have been consistent by-products of the global pandemic. The disruption to the economy has likely put you on a roller coaster of twists and turns—causing you to pour over your balance sheets and lose sleep, wondering if you are positioning yourself wisely.
If you are anxious and a bit exhausted, you are not alone. You, along with millions of others from all walks of life, are navigating unchartered territory. As a franchise owner and leader, you are challenged to make the right decisions and stay strong. But, how do you do that under pressure? Here are six keys to bolstering your career (and your business), especially during challenging times:
Number One: Understand that Careers Naturally Cycle
No matter has much time and effort you put into deciding to become a franchise owner, you can never get complacent, assured that things will go smoothly. Career quakes like the one we are experiencing now are predictable and, yet, unnerving. The ground is shifting under your feet.
Logically you know you are going to hit rough patches. But, when they happen, you can experience a range of uncomfortable emotions like fear and anger. The first step is to recognize that you are at a crossroad, off your familiar path and challenged to find the way forward. Shake hands with your anxiety and step into a period of introspection.
A long walk or a day off can offer much needed perspective. It also helps settle the intense emotions that accompany an externally driven crossroad. Let’s face it, you did not choose this disruption. It is happening to you. You need to re-gain a sense of control and think clearly about your options. Embrace the fact that careers cycle from periods of satisfaction to dissatisfaction as a natural result of life’s unpredictable events.
Number Two: Take an Accountable Perspective
Taking an accountable perspective is difficult to do when you have, in fact, been the victim of circumstances. Your first instinct might be to blame others or make excuses, not wanting to accept your reality. This “victim trap” stifles your creativity, limits your resourcefulness and eventually poisons everyone around you.
Strength and resilience are spurred by accountability. End all blaming, either by yourself or by anyone on your team. Replace negativity with responsibility. Take action to lead your franchise toward solutions. Your forward-focused leadership will allow you to capitalize on opportunities and make solid business decisions.
Number Three: Operate from Your Career-Related Values
Your values are your super-power but you may not be paying enough attention to them. Under pressure, your values may be ignored as you are busy putting out fires. Again, this is perfectly natural but it saps your strength and undermines your ability to lead your organization.
Identify your career-related values–the things that drive you and matter the most. Perhaps it’s integrity, family and life-balance. Once you have identified your values, make them front and center every day. Think about your values as you get ready for work in the morning. Have them posted on the mirror or refrigerator door. Share your values with your team and challenge them to notice if your actions do not align with your values.
Number Four: Utilize Your Enjoyable Skills
If your day is virtually filled with demands that bring you little or no joy, you are on the road to burnout. Your level of energy is key to your ability to deliver excellence. So, step back and notice the aspects of your business that light you up, that you look forward to. Finds ways to expand your involvement in enjoyable skills activity. Delegate or minimize skills you do not enjoy.
As you read this you may the thinking you don’t have the luxury of delegating work that drains your energy. That may be true, and yet, it may also be a story you have told yourself so many times that you no longer look at your options objectively. If you are wearing yourself out trying to do everything yourself, you are depleting the resource at the center of your stability and security, you.
Number Five: Find Your Voice
Your ability to be successful in your franchise, and in your career, hinges on your authentic expression of who you are. Your voice (meaning your confident, congruent self) informs what you say, how you say it and the impact it has on others. Under stress, you might lose access to your voice, delivering faltering or even mis-leading messages.
Take stock of your communication and notice how you are expressing yourself—even the words you are choosing. If you have a hard time being self-aware, ask others you trust. Find out if your voice is strong, positive and consistent. Decide how you want to be seen and heard. Be a true leader, inspiring your team to step up and deliver their best.
Number Six: Curb Your Impatience
The stress that comes along with economic upheaval and unpredictability can cause you to make impulsive choices. You might be tempted to take short cuts or ignore offers of help because you are panicking. Slow yourself down long enough to notice you are not thinking straight. Do a self-check and determine if anxiety is driving your decisions. If so, it’s time to get a new perspective.
While all of these tips are especially important in time of tumultuous change, they also apply to your career development throughout the course of your life. Your career and your franchise business pay for everything else in your life. Taking time to make sure you are operating from a well-balanced, aligned perspective is not only wise, it’s literally required for your survival.
Imagine you are looking back at your personal and professional performance five years from now. Consider rating yourself on how well you managed your career and functioned as a business leader. There is learning and growth to be garnered in difficult times. Embrace the days and months ahead as an opportunity to emerge into a level of leadership that, otherwise, would not have been possible.
Helen Horyza, career development expert, recently released, Elevate Your Career: Live a Life You’re Truly Proud Of. This timely resource brilliantly demonstrates how you can design a career in alignment with your interests and talents by discovering what makes you truly happy. Reach out to Helen at her website: https://www.helenhoryza.com/