How To Keep Your Job While Others Are Losing Theirs
‘Turning an invisible job into an invincible career’
Charles was an engineer working for a large corporation who watched as many of his conservative fellow engineers were slowly but surely ushered out of the company. Those who remained nonetheless felt the anxiety of not knowing if they would keep their career, or have their job slashed.
In order to avoid becoming yet another ‘victim’ of corporate cost-cutting, Charles had one key strategy up his sleeve – he was determined to raise himself out of the ranks of the many average and invisible engineers whose survival was so fragile, and become instead invaluable to the company he worked for.
Like any businessperson, Charles knew the vital importance of the distinction factor, to stand out in the eyes of his customer – which in his case was the company’s executive team who would ultimately decide whether he remained on staff or simply be shown the door.
Most engineers are by nature heavily focused on the technical aspects of networks, systems, and products, and important as this is, their narrow focus and strong resistance to change is exactly why so many have lost their jobs. As the company sought to expand into international markets, it was looking for something more from its engineering community – it wanted and needed them to become not just drones but innovators.
Charles now elected to draw on his years of experience to become a creative thinker, and would do so by either participating in the company’s innovation projects or actually taking a leadership role in them. With this goal in mind, he began leveraging his engineering skills to:
- Simplify complex and dysfunctional processes.
- Shorten the lifecycle for building and delivering new products to the market.
- Reduce costs without detracting from the value delivered to customers.
Charles recognised that it was not only imperative to separate himself from the run-of-the-mill engineer, he also had to become more entrepreneurial to compete with the younger and more aggressive generation the company was bringing into the fold. He understood there was a Darwinian struggle going on – survival of the fittest – and that with these fast-thinking, tech-savvy and highly energetic young guns, he had to be battle-ready.
These highly sought after youngsters might be fast learners, quick thinkers, and prolific idea generators, but Charles had not just years of knowledge and experience up his sleeve, as well as an integrated understanding of the end-to-end business, he also freely shared his wisdom to develop the next generation of leaders.
So he put his plan into effect, and became so effective in raising the standard of employee performance and adding greater strategic future value to the company (a value which far exceeded his salary) that instead of dismissing him early, when he approached retirement they did all they could to persuade him to stay.
Despite the widely held view that age counts against most people in the employment sphere, not so for our man Charles. In his late 60s he stopped working as a full-time salaried employee, but only to be reborn as a consultant working two days a week at a significantly higher rate of pay.
Charles is living proof that no matter your age and circumstances, you can stay gainfully employed while others are suffering anxiety and sleepless nights wondering when the axe will fall, or losing their jobs altogether.
Charles took the initiative to use his entrepreneurial mindset, along with his years of experience and his knowledge of the company, to carve so valued a place for himself in the company that it was loath to let him retire.
Please understand me here; this is not an anomalous situation, it is the new normal – this is the way of business in this new millennium. It’s no longer enough, as it has been since time immemorial, to simply be hard working, punctual, and good at your job. Today’s rapidly changing and globally-linked economy requires more: it is vital be bold and innovative, to reinvent yourself from run-of-the mill drone to standout high value performer, and begin to act think and act like an entrepreneur within the company you work for, generating breakthrough ideas and better ways of solving problems. In short, if you would survive and thrive, you must find a way to emulate the Entrepreneurial Charles.
‘One computer can do the work of 100 people, but no computer can achieve the results of one inspired entrepreneur.’ Tony Pisanelli
Tony draws on his unique experience of multiple reinventions on the path from employee to entrepreneur, to help professionals conquer the forces of change that disrupt thousands of careers every day.