On July 1st, a few more consultants were let go by my client. One of them. an IT Technician, had been with them for 12 years. He was well liked and competent and had a quirky but funny sense of humor. While he hadn’t been given specific notice that he was going to be let go, management had been disseminating enough information since May, for him to know that he was probably going to be let go. Upon receiving the news that he was leaving that day, people were upset. “How could they let him go?” they asked.
While I really liked this gentleman, I asked a different question, what had he done over the past 12 years to grow? The stunned look on people’s faces summed up the false belief system that is growing more prevalent today. This belief system says:
- We are entitled to a job, just because we’ve been here for awhile
- A company’s (or organization’s) bottom line doesn’t matter
- We can sit on our laurels, enjoy life and just wait to retire
- Once we get some basic skills, we don’t have to learn new ones
If you want to thrive, let alone survive, you must face reality:
- You aren’t entitled to a job
- The bottom line does matter
- Those that sit on their laurels, get run over
- If you aren’t growing, you are dying
After 12 years, this gentleman still had the same skills he had before, but nothing more. Is this someone you want on your team? He wasn’t a troublemaker. He did his job. Sure – these are great attributes. But is someone like this going to help grow your business to excellence? I don’t think so.
To survive in the coming decade, you must understand that you have to provide value to your organization. That for you to thrive, you must continually learn new skills and that you can’t just sit back and expect to be ok. If you haven’t learned a new skill in awhile, you should be worried. It’s time to dust off the cobwebs of your mind and start looking at making yourself indespensible. To survive, this is what you should be doing:
- Looking for opportunities to grow within the organization
- Taking some classes to continually educate yourself
- Be in tune with what is happening to your organization financially
All the best, All the time!