Approach your career like you would any other investment and buy low, sell high (not vice versa)

Bad economic times wreak havoc on the emotions of the gainfully employed as much as they do on the unemployed and underemployed. I have been receiving phone calls off the hook from weary workers who want to leave their jobs. Why? Because while their companies have downsized, these workers now have the fantastic task of taking on their departed colleagues’ job tasks in addition to their regular job descriptions at the same or less pay. These people are working sometimes twice as hard, aren’t getting paid for the extra work and they are tired.

My advice has been consistent: don’t sell when the market is low.  If you think of any investment, the strategy is to get out of the investment when the market is high, not when it is low.  Your job is an investment in your career and professional path. I have been through several business cycles and I can say that now is the absolute worst time to leave your job or “sell”, assuming that it is a job that is consistent with your professional goals. If you leave your job now while the market is not doing well (i.e. “selling” your job while the job market is low), you may not be able to find another job or may find one that puts you in a similar situation without having the history and connections you do at your existing company. If you can power through this cycle and hang in, you will be in great shape when the market recovers (which it will, it always does). You will have more experience, more clout and most importantly, you will be “in the game”.

Don’t let emotions and tough times dictate your strategy: you will be in a much better position to make an objective and solid career move if you do it when things are humming and the market is “high” for jobs.