[MMM] What the Stock Market & Your Career Have in Common

Happy Monday morning,
 
I am not an economist by training, nor a financial planner, but it has been a very interesting week in the stock market.
 
You may have been observing a change in your personal net worth over this past week. This has been the worst week in the stock market in the past 9 years and there are lots of pundits who are providing their thoughts on where things are heading.
 
One word may be helpful to calm your fears about having to push your retirement to Freedom-85.
 
Perspective.
 

 
The word comes from the late 14 century, from the latin perspectus: meaning “clearly perceived” – to inspect, look through, to observe, look closely at. As well as my favorite meaning, “mental outlook over time”.
 
Like the stock market, if you only look at the current week or are focused on short-term changes in circumstances, you are only seeing information from a narrow perspective and may make poor and reactive decisions. If you looked at these changes as a chart over time, you would observe, that while the last week has been challenging, there is a long history of growth, with ups and downs along the way.
 
What is your mental outlook? A good and important question.
 
What is your mental outlook over time? This is the better question.
 
Rather than reacting to current circumstances in the moment, what are you doing to closely inspect, analyze and think through your situation. Search the situation from multiple perspectives.
 
In our organization, it’s a priority to take the time we need to assess a situation before making an important or potentially critical decision. Time and time again, the decisions we make that are thoughtful and intentional are the best decisions, even though the gut instinct to decide quickly can be difficult to ignore.
 
It’s incredibly important to process over a period of time, seek external counsel and coaching, and spend the appropriate time considering options rather than reacting to short-term circumstances and emotions. Coaching allows a neutral third party to support us in asking those questions and offering those perspectives, so we, ourselves, discover the right path forward from many diverging paths.
 
Slowing down and taking a step back makes our team stronger and our work better for our clients.
 
Warren Buffet has made his fortune on this principal. When everyone is reacting, he jumps into different markets and looks for the short-term, reactive, and fear based responses. Then, he patiently holds on for the long hall – not just the Chart of the week or month.
 
What about you? Don’t day-trade your career based on short term circumstances. Same with other projects or teams you are leading. Yes, decisions often need to be made in a timely manner, and sometimes we need to react to short-term needs, but make sure you take a pause when it counts.
 
That famous line in a song “you gotta know when to hold them & when to fold them” has never been truer.
 
Find perspective, over time. Decide, and above all, act.
 
Along the road with you!
 
Alan
 
P.S. Join us for our next free CareerClass webinar on “Social media and your personal brand” on Wednesday February 14 from 12 to 1 pm EST. If you’re looking for the next step in your career and wondering how the world of social media fits, register today to join us!
 
P.P.S. Take advantage of CareerJoy’s Government Career Management Programs for your Personal Learning Plan. Register for our lunch and learn webinar for public servants on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. from 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm EST. Learn how coaching can help you to manage and grow your career in the public service.