Career Survival Instinct

Our Alumni Career Advisors

Alumni Career Services


Karen Rubano

Marie Geary

URI Career Services and Employer Relations

228 Roosevelt Hall, 90 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

There comes a point in your career when job loss, pending job interruption, or the desire to get out of a miserable job may activate your “Career Survival Instinct.” I’ll take anything is a common way to think in this situation. Allowing this mindset to take over will present an unexpected uphill battle, characterized by:

• Losing control of your elevator speech, leaving contacts without any indication of your interests, skills, or desired roles

• Considering positions below your current level of accountability

• Ending up with significantly lower pay, possibly forcing you into the need for a second job

No doubt, it is a difficult dilemma. Career Survival Instinct challenges every aspect of a disciplined career campaign. You can avoid it with a drive towards greater creativity and patience. Escalated perseverance, research, and networking must become your dominant strategies. If a job for wage becomes critically necessary, a temporary position can fill the void; however, it must exist alongside your essential, ongoing career campaign. The fact is, you cannot lose ground as long as you engage in the following activities:

• Research and apply for jobs: increase your activity in applying for suitable positions

• Network: escalate your attention to networking via LinkedIn, email, phone, and face-to-face meetings

• Set up informational meetings: maintain your attention to securing discussions with recruiters and other employees of organizations you would like to join, regardless of a suitable currently posted position

Allow your strategy to be one that stays the course and maintains the energy needed for your job search. Patience, discipline, and determination will help you move forward without the additional pressure caused by Career Survival Instinct. And, as always, URI Alumni Career Advisors are here to help.