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Staying In The Game
The message came from Human Resources. There's nothing to worry about with the newly announced organizational changes and pending merger, it reassured. The changes will be good for the company and good for the people who work here it coached.
I've seen a couple dozen messages like this during my career. In fact, I've even crafted a few. I've been through mergers, acquisitions, downsizings, organizational changes, personal career set-backs and a myriad of new corporate initiatives. And the best lesson I learned from all of them? Stay a player.
Granted my tactics for what that meant varied with the situation. Sometimes the safest play was to keep my head down and do my work exceedingly well until I understood the new landscape. Sometimes I rolled with the punches long enough to realize what was happening might be great for the company, but not a great long term choice for me, so I moved on. Sometimes I helped others acclimate to the new direction or culture and found new opportunities emerging along the way. Sometimes the toll was personal, like when a promotion I'd worked my entire career to reach was given to an outsider. Still, I stayed in the game.
I'm not saying I didn't yell and complain to friends or go into a woe-is-me victim mode licking my wounds for a time; or require space to sort out the divergent directional messages appearing to me like a corporate minefield. I'm not wired to change with the immediacy of a remote control. But I am wired to change. I know taking myself out of the game, retiring on the job, or sitting it out on the sidelines is not a viable option if I want to be winning at working. As Charles Darwin reminds, "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
But there's more to winning at working than survival. To grow and thrive in the corporate world you must find your resilient center and evolve. That may mean learning new skills, aligning with a new boss or company, changing direction, letting go of the way things used to be done, compromising approaches or moving on.
Only fifteen percent of S& P 500 companies listed at the end of the 1950's are still in existence fifty years later. In a Fast Company (Nov04) interview with Jim Collins, author of the best selling book, "Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies," he advises companies to, "Preserve the core! And! Stimulate progress!" He claims, "To be built to last, you have to be built for change!"
His advice is as true for successful companies as it is for successful people. You need to preserve your core and stimulate your progress. If you do, you'll stay a player and deal with the changes coming your way. Sure, change can be painful and difficult and uncomfortable, but if you're open to what it brings, it may surprise you. It did me. My best lifetime career opportunity came after I was denied the promotion I coveted. It never would have happened if I hadn't stayed in the game.
(c) 2005 Nan S. Russell. All rights reserved.
Sign up to receive Nan's free biweekly eColumn at http://www.winningatworking.com Nan Russell has spent over twenty years in management, most recently with QVC as a Vice President. She has held leadership positions in Human Resource Development, Communication, Marketing and line Management. Nan has a B.A. from Stanford University and M.A. from the University of Michigan. Currently working on her first book, Winning at Working: 10 Lessons Shared, Nan is a writer, columnist, small business owner, and on-line instructor. Visit http://www.nanrussell.com or contact Nan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skills Make Labor More Valuable
As you know by now, if you have been a long time subscriber to our weekly E-zine, I'm a very big proponent of activity, labor and discipline. In fact I devoted one of the five major pieces to the life puzzle (in my book under the same name) to the subject of activity and labor. But now let me add another key word to the labor equation - skillful. Yes, skillful labor.
Image and Style Count
When I was a child, there was a pool nearby and every year my parents bought us season tickets. My brother and I swam there everyday. One day we were swimming the length of the pool underwater. As I came up at the edge of the pool gasping for air, the lifeguard was there to meet me. He asked if my brother and I would join the swim team. We were so excited; we talked about it for days.
5 Ways to Profit From No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind) is designed to reform and improve student achievement and change the culture of America's schools. According to this reform act each state must measure every public school student's progress in reading and math in each of grades 3 through 8 and at least once during grades 10 through 12. By school year 2007-2008, assessments (or testing) in science will be underway. These assessments must be aligned with state academic content and achievement standards. They will provide parents with objective data on where their child stands academically.
Career Job Satisfaction - Get Off the Treadmill - Exit Your Rat Race!
Get Off the Treadmill - Exit Your Rat Race!
How to Write a Scientific Resume
You're a scientist, you're very well educated, you're intelligent, and so writing your own résumé should be easy, correct? I mean, how hard could it be? Especially if you have written your own thesis or dissertation in the past, you may feel that you can save the $300 bucks (or however much it costs, even if it is a tax deduction!) and simply do it yourself. The answer to this may surprise you?
Women Who Quit Work Abrubtly After Childbirth - Are You the Type?
According to statistics one out of every five pregnant women will not return to work. Quitting abruptly after childbirth could wreak havoc on your finances, your career and even your relationship with your partner.
Wishing and Hoping
Years after Disneyland was built, after the completion of Walt Disney World, the story goes that someone went up to Mike Vance, Creative Director for Walt Disney Studios and said, "Isn't it too bad Walt Disney didn't live to see this?" Without pausing, he replied, "But he did see it, that's why it's here."
Little Mistakes That Keep You Unemployed
If your job search is dragging on and on, you might want to look in the mirror. Because the person looking back may be sabotaging your efforts.
Whiners Need Not Apply
Sometime last summer I decided to host a pity party and invite all my friends. Well, not all my friends, exactly. Only those whose livelihoods might have, like mine, been suffering from the downward slide of the economy. To make the guest list, invitees would have to possess the ability to grumble, gripe, groan, fuss, snarl, scream, fret, rant and complain -- preferably all at the same time. I wanted world-class whiners at my party. Optimists need not apply.
How Much Can You Earn Working As A Proofreader?
Thinking of a career as a proofreader? Then you will most likely want to know about salaries. Are you hoping to hear that you will make thousands and thousands of dollars a month in this field? It is very possible that you will barely make a few hundred when you are first starting out. There is no guarantee of a paycheck in this field. If you do not provide quality work, you probably will not have many clients returning for repeat work. Proofreading as a career is hard, but when you get in the door, you may do fairly well. Proof reader salaries are not glamorous, but they can be fairly good.
Your Goals Must Be Within Your Reach
The Telecommuting Tightrope
For many of us, telecommuting seems like the ideal situation. You wake up, shuffle over to your home office, work at your own pace. You take a break when it suits you, you end your day when you're ready to. You can rearrange your work schedule to fit around your personal life.
How to Get Hired by Being Obvious
If you want a drink of water, do you hire a focus group or pick up the Yellow Pages? No. You go to the kitchen, fill a glass and drink. You take the shortest route to fill your need.
What is My Calling?
"What is my calling?" Do any of us really have complete clarity about our life calling? Even those of us with the knowingness we must teach, write or sing may often ask, "What direction am I to go, now?" How do we answer these soulful questions?
Successful Job Search: 10 Steps To Quickly Acquire Your Dream Job And Put More Money In Your Pocket
Do you want to continue your costly, time-consuming and exhausting struggle in a frustrating job search using weak, ineffective tools that are getting you nowhere? The job market today is fiercely competitive with few high-paying or desirable jobs available. With repeated downsizings, companies have learned to survive with less.
Your Job Search Is A Marketing Campaign (Part 2)
Here's a continuation of my article from a few months back on how the successful job search is really just a personal marketing campaign.
Unemployment Survival: Taking Back Control
One of the most emotionally crippling aspects of unemployment is the sense of powerlessness it engenders. Job layoff triggers financial pressures, emotional distress, family turmoil, and dashed career hopes. It is forced on us by unrelenting fate, an emotionally disengaged employer, and economic currents that have little to do with us personally. We feel that we have no control over our situation, our lives, our future.
Loving What You Do
Man is a social animal and survival is his major need. There are needs that he needs be fulfill. The needs can be physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. A common thread that connects all the above need is a means to sustain physically. He can barter his skills to sustain himself.
Settling Successfully Into Your New Job
The euphoria of getting a new job can sometimes be overcome by apprehension about what comes next. After all, you're "the new kid on the block," and there's much to learn--about your new job duties and much more. But here are some things you can do to make the process go smoother.
Growing Up On A Delaware Farm
Growing up on a Delaware farm was a wonderful and rewarding experience for me.
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