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Take Control of Your Career with this Simple Formula

I recently got an email from a lady, an IT professional from the Netherlands who was sacked earlier in the week. She wrote to me asking my advice on how she can become employable and whether ITIL is a suitable option. She admitted in her email that a few weeks earlier, her manager had offered her a different role which was not as exciting as the one she had. She turned it down, but the manager insisted that she take it. Still, she didn’t budge. The end result was that the role that she performed got offshored and she was left without a job and severance pay.

My advice to her is immaterial, but what I would like to point out is that life (in this example career) throws curve balls at us. It is up to us on how we handle it. We could read the trajectory and hit it out of the park or not pay attention and strike out. The choice is ours to take.

There is a well known formula that I have known for years and have used it on a number of occasions. It has helped me immensely in dealing with situations.

Outcome = Event + Response

It’s a simple formula. You face events (such as the sacking in this case). You have no control over it. The way you respond to events determines the outcomes you are going to experience.

After the sacking, you can sit in a dark room and blame your manager and the countries that take away your job. What do you get at the end of it? Nothing! Absolutely nothing. Perhaps you will get into a state of depression.

Or you could start exploring for better opportunities. The lady who got fired wrote to me seeking direction. I am certain she would have sought advice from a number of others she respected. She was not sitting idle. She was not cribbing. She was seeking answers.

I haven’t spoken to her since but my intuition tells me that she has got a job, a better one than the one she ever had.

You too, can choose the outcome you desire by responding appropriately to events. You are in the hunt on the outcome you choose. You always get a chance to change the outcome. The trick is to identify events that places itself in your life and taking necessary actions to bring about desirable outcomes.

That being said, even after knowing this formula for a number of years, I have not responded the right way on all occasions. However, when the outcome was not to my liking, I sit back and reflect on what I did and how I could have done it better. And, when a second chance comes by, I am not going to let it go. I am going to swoop it off its feet and get what I want.

My challenge to you is to identify events in your life. Remember that you cannot change events. But, take appropriate responses. If the outcomes don’t go as expected, alter the responses the next time. There’s always another chance to change your response.

In IT, there are far too many events. And most of them are career changing. It is up to you on how you use it. Good luck!

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