I was in Los Angeles last week for business and scheduled to take a flight home on Thursday. Thunderstorms in New York delayed the flight over an hour; circumstances beyond my control. It’s the weather after all, right? Get into JFK around 1:00 am and walk down to baggage claim. There I waited over one hour for my bag to appear. The conveyor belt was jammed; another case of circumstances beyond my control. Can’t do anything but wait and pace, wait and pace.

Finally home early Friday morning and there is a weather alert. Hurricane Irene is on the way and preparations are necessary; water, batteries, grocery store, filling the car up with gas. All these tasks give you the sense that you are in control, but you can never control the weather. The hurricane hits. The power goes out and I am now writing this blog on battery power.

Maybe we feel a little better knowing that everyone is in the same boat? Very few people have power here. We are all forced to sit in the dark on a Sunday that is usually jam packed with a combination of outdoor activities, catching up on emails, phone calls, and perhaps some work.

The fact of the matter is that we never feel good being out of control whether it’s due to the weather, mechanical problems or other reasons.

I don’t know about you but feeling like a victim has never been something I’ve been comfortable with, especially when it comes to my career and life. Sure there are lay-offs and mergers that cause lay-offs. When you are in business, there is constant change (most of it beyond your control).  That being said, there is still a lot that we can control.

Think about your career strategically and make a plan. What is your goal and what is the best path to reach that goal? Evaluate every opportunity that comes along. How does this opportunity align with your goal? You make the choices.

Communicate your goal to others. Ask for sponsors and mentors. Network and build strategic relationships. Be intentional and focused.

Unlike the weather, we are never really out of control although it may seem that way at times. We always have choices. We have the power to move our careers forward in whatever direction we choose.

Don’t let a “hurricane mentality” affect your career. Take the necessary steps to plan and prepare and take control.

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