Sunday, October 30, 2011

Who should you blame for your career situation …. The answer is easy

“ Life is a series of near misses. But a lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It's seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. ”

Howard Schultz (1953 – )
American entrepreneur, chairman of Starbucks


Yup – you.

I often talk to people who tell me why their career or job situation has gone array. They blame just about everything:

… The economy
… The employer
… The lack of political leadership
… The weather
... and the list goes on and on.

We are seeing the level of discontent explode with the Occupy Wall Street movement spreading across the country and similar movements in Europe. The occupiers are demanding change in our banking system (one can agree or not agree) to reduce corporate greed, and yes there is greed. They are also demanding jobs.

On the flip side of this movement is another just developing – it is known as Occupy Yourself. The thought: demanding that the government or any other entity be responsible for finding one a job, creating jobs or changing one’s situation if the wrong approach. You are responsible for your situation – so occupy yourself and take responsibility. Most interesting for sure.

Those I talk to in my practice who blame everyone and everything for their situation are often shocked when I look straight into their eyes and tell them who takes responsibility for their situation, no matter what it is.

It is themselves. No one else.

We are each accountable for the actions we take and handling the situations we find ourselves in all facets of career and life. Sure external forces may make it more difficult, but at the end of the day, it is up to you to navigate your way in, out and around difficult situations. No one will do it for you. You will get old and gray waiting.

Unfortunately there is a prevailing attitude of entitlement or waiting for someone to change your situation for the better, and people just wait and wait with no resolve, no forward direction. They are, to a degree, enabled.

One of the best sayings I heard, from Jim Collin’s Book Good to Great ( is the following: When something goes right in an organization, leaders look around them to heap praise upon someone for a job well done. When something goes wrong, they find the nearest mirror to find the person to blame. Leaders are accountable for the good and the bad; those destined for leadership in their career and life need to be able to do the same and know that they define their destiny, their ability to work through a situation and their prosperity. They are also 100% to blame when something goes wrong. It is easy to deflect that responsibility to someone else and yes they may have played a part, but it you and you alone so accept it sooner than later and move on.

If you have been faced with a defining moment in your life or career, and need to sort it out to move on, may I suggest:

• Grieve – yes give yourself the time – short time – to grieve the situation, then bury it and move on.
• Reflect – Understand what happened and why – and commit not to let this occur again in your future.
• Regroup – Most critical – move on and don’t remain in history – because you cannot change history.

Life throws curve balls and it has the past few years. Rather than watch the curve balls go by, tee one up and out of the stadium. That is winning. That is accountability. That is taking responsibility for your situation.

And thank you for reading this

Dan Moran
President & Founder
Career Management & Transition Specialists
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Office: 518-261-4212
Cell: 518-641-8968
eFax: 586-279-4212

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