Archive for the ‘career’ Category

I have seen first hand the magic that come from propping up a person for job duties that are well beyond their capabilities, and they surprise themselves and succeed. I have also seen first hand the horrors that come from propping up a person for job duties that are well beyond their capabilities, and they prove everyone right and fail miserably.

There is a lot more of the latter happening in corporate America these days, which would be fortunate if it meant companies were becoming more confident in ‘fail-to-learn’ philosophies.

It happens to fall toward the unfortunate, as it really means too many companies have come up short on manpower after too many successes at cutting payroll. Still, companies are desperate to get the same level of work done despite the obvious lack of numbers to support the workload. Line managers hope for the best by giving addition duties to their workers for various reasons, and then give them hell when they can’t really handle it, even though they suspected it wasn’t going to work out from the beginning.

The real solution would be to hire back the lost employees and work at the regular levels again. That’s probably not happening any time soon. In the meantime, managers need to be extremely careful when putting the necks of the inexperienced on the line, for both of their sakes.


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Today, I will give you a five step plan on how to solve just about any problem. I’m calling this plan, for obvious reasons, “The Overly Simplified Way To Solve Your Problems In Just Five Steps”

Step 1: See that you have a problem.

Step 2: Say, “I have a problem.”

Step 3: Do something about the problem.

Step 4: If problem persists, do something different about the problem.

Step 5: If problem persists, repeat step 4 until you have solved the problem

Overly simplified, but simple enough that you get the point.



Tom’s Shoes: Buy A Pair, Give A Pair

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY ME IN THE FORMER COOL CORPORATE DOT COM BLOG

Does your career follow a warped version of the story of the Little Dutch Boy?

The Cliff Notes Version of the Little Dutch Boy has a hole in a dike that was threatening to burst, and little boy walks up an sticks his finger in the hole and shores up the dike with the simple act…a decision that is a little tough because it makes him late for school, which will get him in trouble. Eventually, some passerby sees the boy, and brings back help to fix the dike. The story is told to teach quick action and self-sacrifice, because if the boy leaves, the dike is back in the same peril that it was in before, and he has no guarantee that help is on the way.

Switch the story to an analogy of your career. Were you on your way to something bigger and brighter, came across a problem that you could offer up a quick fix, and then got stuck supporting your quick fix forever? In real world work, sometimes the people whose job it is to actually fix things will do everything in their power to go nowhere near the problem, sticking you with your quick fix approaches, and bogging you down with unresolved issues that keep you from accomplishing bigger goals and moving forward.

I believe you have three ways to approach this problem:

1: JUST DON’T STICK YOUR FINGER IN THE DIKE: If it’s not your problem, its not your problem, and don’t lift a finger (pun intended) to fix it.

2: PUT YOUR FINGER IN THE DIKE FOR A WHILE, THEN TAKE IT OUT AND DEMAND ACTION: Save the company for just a little while, figure out what the real problem is, then kill your quick fix and get in the faces of those who have the responsibility to fix it, and make sure they fix it.

3: PUT YOUR FINGER IN THE DIKE, AND PRAY THAT THE RIGHT PEOPLE WILL DO THE RIGHT THING ON THERE OWN: …which probably won’t happen…but a little faith might help…

When I came across the idea for this post, I knew I was going to be short on answers, but I hope that just putting the thought out there will help those stuck ‘with their finger in the dike’ to get a better picture of their current situation, and find a way out of it.


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Survive a computer  disaster with Carbonite

Survive a computer disaster with Carbonite
I am currently sitting in limbo in my profession. My peers in my industry, and in my age group, are facing similar situations across the workforce.

The major problem with progression through the ranks is the speed at which those in the top positions actually vacate those positions. This is always an issue between generations, when the younger talent believes it is more than ready to take over the reigns of industry, and the older talent either disagrees and holds on just a little longer until they are really ready, or actually agree but fear of not having anything comparably for them to do, stay well past their own usefulness while fresh talent goes stale, or goes elsewhere.

Mix in a horrible economy with less viable jobs and retirement plans all but emptied due to the plummet in the worth of stocks, and the older generation that is in place now, the Baby Boomers, are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Not that they didn’t get flack before, even from themselves, as being a little too selfish and self-centered as a group. They are literary being pushed out to pasture by my ilk, the now oddly named Generation X, and the even younger, more brash, but possibly more apply named Generation Y, who are looking to leapfrog over everyone to take their places in the CEO’s chair.

But here is the truly frightening part. Estimates put the number of 65-year-olds in the year 2050 at roughly triple what they are today, due to access to better healthcare. That means when my 13-year-old is looking at his options in 40 years, the 53-year-old will still be elbowing for position with the glut of other pre-retirees. I can only hope he isn’t facing the same economic crisis many of today’s 65-year-old’s are facing in losing hard earned and well invested retirement money through no fault of their own a decade later.


Send Flowers at 1-800-FLORALS

Send Flowers at 1-800-FLORALS
Over a year ago, I came across an article by Joan Lloyd on preparing for the New Year with a full evaluation of your job. With half of 2009 in the books, and the economic climate making many wonder if there futures really do lie with their current employer, now might be a great time to get a jump on your personal career analysis, assuming you have actually taken the time to truly evaluate your worth to your employer, and vice versa. And not to steal from Lloyd’s thunder, you can read her article and see the full listing of evaluation questions here.

UPDATE: I didn’t think about anyone asking me the status of my mid-year evaluation when I posted this. Since I have been asked by several people where my head and heart are in my job, I can tell you that despite the frustrations of the current economy, I like myself exactly where I am at the ‘day job,’ with hopes that sooner rather than later there will be some movement that will allow me and a few others the chance to grow and branch out. I would however seriously consider any offer that would be accompanied by a large sack of cash.