Sounds bad, doesn’t it, like somebody might be trying to weasel out of his or her responsibility.
Yet, strange as it may sound, when it comes to career concerns, sometimes I think we can benefit by moving the blame around.
Here’s why – while it makes sense to stand up and take responsibility for your actions, there’s nothing to be gained by beating yourself up for things which aren’t your fault.
And I think that’s what a lot of people are doing in the wake of the economic downturn. It’s no fun to get laid off. It can be terrifying in a practical sense and devastating emotionally.
Thinking that you’re personally to blame for it all can make it worse.
While economists, historians and politicians may debate the causes of the Great Recession for years to come, I sincerely doubt that most of the millions who lost their jobs will make the list.
So let yourself off the hook if your career took a beating along with the U.S. and world economy. You don’t have to shoulder the blame for this one.
You might want to study up on who should take responsibility for it all, but that’s a question for a different website.
Here, we focus on careers, and don’t underestimate the impact of your emotions on your career prospects. If you’re feeling like a failure, it’s going to be hard to get your work life back on track. Try telling yourself that you didn’t screw up, the economy did, and see how that changes your attitude.
I often find that understanding a problem can help me come up with better solutions, like if the reason my car won’t start is because I have a bad battery. If your career is sputtering, knowing that it’s due to economic forces can help you, too. Rather than pushing away and flooding the field with resumes, you might realize you need to move into an area with more juice.
That’s because, due to the No Free Pass law of nature, just because something isn’t your fault, doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with it.
It’s like when you were little and you weren’t part of the gang making a mess in the house, but you still got stuck cleaning it up.
Even though you don’t need to beat yourself up for the state of the U.S. economy and how that’s affected your career, you are responsible for figuring out what to do next.
I happen to think that spending less time feeling like it’s our fault will give us all more energy to engineer our personal and societal recoveries.
What do you think?
by Danielle Dresden