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  • 3 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before 2009

    Here are 3 questions you should ask yourself before we enter 2009.  The reason why I’m asking these is because I want you to think about how you can keep your job and pursue your passion at the same time.

    1.  Are you committed to your current career path for the rest of your life?

    This may seem like an extreme and overstated question, but it’s actually extremely important.  Although technology is set to go through rapid advancements from today till the day you retire, your personal brand remains the same.  Your brand is who you are and, although you may gain new skills and stay relevant to your audience, you are your brand.

    Commitment is just as important in relationships, as it is with careers and branding. If you aren’t satisfied and convinced that you have chosen the proper, long-term, career path for yourself, then before the ball drops in 2009, start thinking about it.  This questions has nothing to do with your current job.  A job is a stepping stone to something larger.  A career is a chosen pursuit. If, even for a second, you question your career path, you better reflect on it, change it and secure a different position to help get back on track.  The most successful people discover their strengths and pursue their passion.

    2.  If you just won a  million dollars would you quit your job?

    A lot of people in this world give up before they claim victory or they settle based on their current financial standing.  Many lottery winners revert back to being poor or middle-class because they don’t have a millionaire mindset.  They mentally want to have thousands of dollars and not millions, so they deplete their winnings over a short period of time.  This question takes into account that you just received a full (non-taxed) million dollars in your bank account.  Would you retire?  Would you go on vacation around the world for the rest of your life?

    If you answer “yes” to both of these questions, then review question #1.  The most successful people are passionate about what they do and instead of retiring, they continue to practice their “hobby” and get paid. They might not work as hard, especially if they’ve established a strong personal brand name, but they enjoy what they do so much, that retiring is boring to them.

    Remember that it’s what you do that makes you who you are and how you project that to others that makes you memorable.  That being said, if you’re a 30 year old retired millionaire going out to a bar meeting women, and they ask “what do you do for a living,” your answer might turn them off.

    3.  Does your current company need your services to do business?

    This question will tell you how much “job security” you’ll have in 2009.  If you run your own business, then you can rephrase this to “do your clients need your services to succeed”?  Whichever question you answer, I want you to think long and hard about how important your skills are to other people. 

    You will probably be laid off if you respond “no” to this question. The big problem in this economy is that there is no sign of hope.  Marketing and sales positions are some of the first to go because they are seen as “fluff.”  The company’s that keep their top marketing people and find some means to give them an adequate budget will succeed because they can break through less clutter and get the company’s name out there.  Becoming more valuable to your customers and/or company will help keep you afloat!

    Best of luck in 2009.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Career Development, Misc, Personal Branding
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