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Don't Quit

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 - 6:30am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
When you face blips in your career, as everyone does, don't quit. Hang in there for this too shall pass. You got to just keep moving, says Rajendra Ghag

It can be termed as life maxim for any individual in any sector and across the globe. When you face blips in life including the ones in your career, don't run away. Hang in there telling yourself that "this too shall pass". Having said that, I would also say that to adopt this maxim is not an easy task.

When they occur, such blips claim the happiness of many individuals and result in acute depression for many others. In people management, we keep talking a lot about one`s potential and competence, both for executing a current job in changing environment and claiming a higher available role within that organization. Most good companies claim to have better processes around this subject but even they cannot keep away such depressed and disengaged individuals, who not only destroy self but also destroy organizational values. The effect of all this gets transported in their personal life and it impacts the entire family of the concerned individual. If one cannot come out of this quickly then he or she gets into a kind of vicious circle which engulfs future career prospects as well as personal work- life balance. In the world of change management it is called the 'valley of death' where if one cannot manage change impacting him/her, within the initial shocks of it, then there are greater chances of that individual falling from that cliff into the 'valley of death'.

Let us now move away from the negative side and take a positive perspective about the issue. Let us look at how one can effectively manage such change or blips in career which many a time are temporary in nature. The key is to be able to think, stay cool and stay put and then bounce back with the support of first opportunity that comes our way. There are a number of examples in the corporate world and in life where people have grown faster than before after sustaining and steering through such temporary adverse phases in their careers. There are a number of reasons for such moments in life; some based on perceptions from superiors and peers, at times due to external factors like economy, industrial situation, uncontrollable organizational circumstances etc and sometimes due to real competence/performance issues where an incumbent is perceived to be hitting a glass ceiling in a particular organization. Many a time, we take hasty calls without thinking, without seeking any advice from senior/experience people around us and get into a kind of 'end of world' thinking. Although, there are organizations which have created interventions to help such individuals, one of the first requirements is self introspection and understanding real reasons for such situation in one's career. One needs to analyze the formal/informal feedback provided by the organization without any preconceived notions and judgment and understand as to what one can do. One can even take help of senior professionals within or even from outside of the organization who can act as a mentor to help steer through such a situation.

There are a number of examples where individuals have worked on the feedback provided in a planned way and have overcome such blips and have started afresh with zest on their career paths. There are many, who are at good positions today and can vouch for such stories. However, they will always advice that it is normal to have temporary blips in one`s career but it is important to hang in there, critically analyze the requirements to bounce back, work on it with a plan, seek help from a mentor/guide and have the belief that 'this too shall pass'.

Though a bit philosophical, but an important mantra here is, "self is creator of his/her own destiny" even if you have others around to help.

The author is senior executive vice president and chief HR officer, HDFC Life.

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