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Finding Career Success When Times Seem Tough
Dan Moran
Career Management & Transition Specialist

Over the past months, we have been deluged with bad and tough news on jobs and the economy. In many situations, this has caused fear among many. For others, the unstable job market has caused them to reflect on where they are in their career – or with their employer – and caused them to begin moving toward a change. A recent survey by ABC News confirmed and reported it best: 63% of those employed are currently looking for a new job.

Many think it is just the opposite – stay and hold on rather than move on. Not true and not unusual as I have seen this before in difficult economic times. During the economic downturns of the past, we saw the same phenomenon emerge – people made change – change in job, career, lifestyle – and other changes too. People turn to their own business as an option in many cases. They look at the situation as a half-full glass of opportunity, rather than a half-empty glass.

As well, concerns over stability of their employer, or just disentrancement with job or  career causes many to begin moving on, even in tough times. They realize that what they are doing or where they are doing it just doesn’t connect. They know it is time to go in a new direction.

But What to Do – Understanding the Four P’s of Career Success

The big question – what does one look for where they will find success? It isn’t just pay, or skills or experiences that count. To be truly successful, you must connect. I have learned over the years the Four-P’s that define success in a job or career. When you find your Four- P fit, you will find success. Let’s look at what those who are successful in career demonstrate – the Four P’s:

They are Positive – If you are positive about what you do, you will enjoy it and you will excel. If not in a positive role or workplace, you won’t connect. You won’t be happy, and it will show to others, and your performance will reflect this too.

They have Purpose – Successful workers go to work everyday because they serve a purpose, and that may be to their family, to the community, environment or some other cause. They identify with it, and this drives success.

They see Potential – Rather than seeing obstacles to hold them back, they see potential in what they are doing, and they strive toward it – always and everyday. They don’t let small stuff get in the way – they work around it. They find a reason to do, rather than not do something or pursue an opportunity.

Above all, they have Passion – You may have heard the quote by Dale Carnegie,

“You never achieve success unless you like what you are doing.”

It is so true. Those truly successful in their career and in their life have passion for what they do. They have a burning desire to achieve, to grow or to contribute. They are not working for pay or a pension, they are working because they love what they do. That defines the difference between many: Some work for just pay – others work for their cause. As you may have heard in the past, if you love what you do, you will never “work” another day in your life.

Positive message and thoughts in a very difficult time. If you are in the midst of a job or career change voluntarily, or have lost your job due to layoff, closure or some other reason, reflect on what is your best connection (your Four-P fit), commit to finding it — then land it. Throw fear to the side. Start today with a fresh outlook – and a plan for success. Think half-full, not half-empty.

About the Author:

Dan Moran, president and found of Next-Act (, has spent the last 30 years managing, motivating and developing people from all walks of life. During this time, he has mastered an understanding of what is critical for success in career planning, searching for jobs and opportunities and planning for second careers – or next acts. Dan has assisted several hundred individuals achieve fulfillment in their career or a better job.

Dan has appeared on the national broadcast of The Monster Show ( broadcast in over 100 US markets, American Out of Work (PBS), and was filmed and produced as a job search expert in Job Hunting: The Ten Best Steps to Success. He has been a frequent radio guest on a number of radio stations nationally as well as locally and regionally, and has appeared in many interviews on career and business issues on local and national radio and television. He is a regular columnist and guest writer for several publications on career and human resource issues.

Moran has authored The New Art of Hiring Smart, now licensed internationally as a training tool, and is currently working on his next writing Achieving Career Leadership: The Seven Principals of Successful Career Leaders for publication this year.


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