"12 Ideas to Fire Proof Your Career" was presented at the July 9, 2009, Milwaukee JobCamp2. The presentation was based in part on the speaker\'s more than 40 years of experience as a co-worker, supervisor, manager and director.
And it’s getting worse. During a round table discussion at the Milwaukee JobCamp2, everyone at the table had more than 20 years of professional experience, advanced degrees, great references, yet lost their jobs and have spent much of the past 12 months unsuccessfully seeking another position. Some folks were in shock. Disappointed. Somewhat depressed. But all were determined to not lose their next job, and if so, only on their own terms.
These questions are also important to someone who may be exploring their career options while unemployed.
Be aware. Unless your company has gone down in flames, you should recognize the signs that your position may be in trouble. Prepare ahead of time by following the ideas outlined in this presentation.
You need to be an outstanding performer, who should be polishing your skills for when your next career change occurs…and it will!
While the order of these ideas are not based on value, #1 has proven to be the most valuable to me throughout my career. My friends and peers that I trust have formed a protective Personal Advisory Board that has provided me with honest feedback. My Professional Advisory Board has evolved over the years as my career path zigged and zagged in response to economic and technological changes. It’s more than Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Besides your friends may be a excellent place to start with your personal advisory board. But for your career, seek out professionals you respect to be a sounding board for your ideas. Meet with each individually, but ask similar questions to each. Try out your ideas on your own blog. Join online professional associations, and participate in its discussion boards. The goal is to get relevant feedback from many different sources. Weigh the comments. Shift gears if necessary, or go back to your “board members” to identify alternative career options.
Good health is your most valuable career asset. If you have it now, guard it. If you can, improve your health to improve your job performance. Develop or nurture a good sense of humor. Remember, it’s all really a game, although losing could carry difficult circumstances. Empower yourself to choose your life options. Marry money! : )
Volunteer to lead projects, do research, attend conferences, present at meetings, write reports, teach others, mentor everyone
Become a Futurist….Read job related books, magazines, cruise the Internet, subscribe to RSS feeds, write a blog, Twitter, explore YouTube, and do it on your own time. Present at conferences. Teach workshops to your peers. Become a mentor to others. When people have questions about a topic you know well, they should first think of contacting you for advice and guidance. The Thought Leader.
Give and you shall receive more in return.
The terms in red are the ones I use most. Of the five, I think LinkedIn holds the most potential value for your career. All can quickly become time suckers. If you Tweet follow no more than 100 Twitterers. Let thousands follow you. Purge your account often to remove followerers that may reflect poorly on your professional reputation. Search MeetUp.com to find groups in your area where you may actually meet other folks with similar interests in person!
If you like your income, great. If it is not high enough, what should you do? Take the “The Test of Five” challenge.
While theaveragemay not always be accurate, you get the idea. If you love your friends AND your income, feel free to skip the test. If your income is less than you expected at this stage of your life, then follow the money…but don’t abandon your friends completely. Just spend less time with them, or figure out a way to help everyone raise their income so that new average is closer to your goal. If you have to choose between income and friends…choose friends every time!
Excellent skills to hone to improve your chances of surviving a depressing economy.
Being entrepreneurial will help you bridge your next career transition, or maybe even help you find your next career. Take the entrepreneur test to see if you have the countenance to be one. And remember, when at work, do that work. Keep your non-job related activities to a minimum during the workday (perhaps browse for your next job while sitting in your car in the parking lot over lunch). Don’t think you won’t be noticed by your boss or your co-workers if you choose to do “daylighting” at work. You would be among the first that I would dismiss when downsizing needs to occur.
The following series of slides are derived for the most part from training programs that I co-produced with my business partner, Michael Kiefer. For actual demos of the 8 training modules, please visit www.youtube.com/ed2itive Additional related content is available from our www.livestream.com/ed2itive video channel.
Many of us have been through Myers-Briggs and related workshops. We may even remember our own 4 letter designations. But as a supervisor/manager/director with more than 40 years of experience, I found the concept useful, but the Meyer-Briggs details mind-numbing in the day-to-day give and take of being an employee and manager. So, here is a simplified version.
The following sequence of slides focuses on how to match your leadership style to those you lead or to those that lead you. The situation you are addressing should dictate the leadership style you should use.
Thinklets are like ring tones for the brain. Interactive tools that facilitate critical and innovative thinking.
During the 20th century more that 125 types of pliers were invented to solve problems. We developed more than 170 Thinklets to help you to be more productive, to improve your critical thinking skills, and to increase personal, team, and organizational innovation. Thinklets are like ring tones for the brain.
Text for “The Newspaper Question”:As you are leaving late for work one morning, you see your neighbor’s newspaper near your driveway. What will you do?
1.You ignore it, it’s your neighbor’s paper anyway You hope that he will see it before it blows all over your yard by the time your get home from work
2. You pick it up and throw it back into your neighbor’s yard
3. You pick it up and throw it away
4.You pick it up and place it on your neighbor’s frontsteps
Four categories of employees…
To “Fire Proof” your career, it is critical for you to develop a lifelong love of learning. Help your boss adjust your position description a couple of times a year. This gives you a better idea about what your boss considers most important for your position. It also gives you a chance to adjust your position description based on your day-to-day work experience and to add new items that are ahead of the curve. Learn, and then “sell” your new skills to your boss and other co-workers. Remember, you want to become a “thought leader” for your company.
It’s more than the Golden Rule. Everyone youwork with or for is a customer for you and your company. Offering excellent customer service to everyone will help shield you and your career.
Bonus Fire Proofing ideas.
The author welcomes comments and suggestions for additional ideas that you have found that may help others “fire proof” their careers.
12 Ideas To Fire Proof Your Career
1213+ Ideas to “fire” proof your career<br />July 9, 2009<br />John A. Grozik<br />Digital Docent: Digital Campfires Foundation, Inc.<br />Senior Consultant: Grozik Associates, Inc.<br />
State of the Workforce<br />In an April 2009, Yahoo! survey of 2,000 Americans<br />12 percent of respondents said they had taken a second job in response to the recession<br />28 percent of workers felt less satisfied in their jobs than a year ago<br />68 percent of that group, said they were not making as much as they desired<br />42 percent were concerned about job security.<br />
Career in Transition?<br />Robert Lorber, UC Davis Professor, advises career-shifters to ask themselves these questions before jumping into a different job:<br />1. Who are you & what do you want?<br />2. Where are you & why are you there?<br />3. What will you do & how will you do it?<br />4. Who are your allies & how can they help?<br />
Did you recognize these signs?<br />You heard news of impending layoffs in a related industry<br />You were ignored in meetings, specially by your boss…less eye contact from peers<br />Your workload changed dramatically<br />You were asked to train another employee in your area of expertise<br />Consultants were hired for special projects, or your projects were outsourced<br />Your pet project was suddenly “defunded”<br />
Bring solutions not complaints to the discussion
No “blame-storming”</li></li></ul><li>3) Challenge your “safe” zones<br />Stand out and step up:<br />Strategy: Make sure higher-ups know you by taking on high-profile projects, and solving problems <br />(Money Magazine)<br />
Setup & run meetings for your boss</li></li></ul><li>6) Network (Personal & Business)<br />Remember, it’s “who knows you” rather than “who you know” <br />Protect your public persona<br />Halo Effect: hang with the company leaders<br />Become a “Social Authority”<br />LinkedIn<br />Facebook, MySpace<br />Twitter, Tweets, Twibes, Twits!<br />MeetUp<br />Plaxo, Ning, others<br />Follow the money<br />
6) Follow The Money<br />Take “The Test of Five<br />
6) Follow The Money<br />Take “The Test of Five”*<br /><ul><li>List the 5 friends you spend most time with (not your spouse nor your children)
Estimate the annual income of each of these 5 friends
Compare this average to your own annual income.
Notice that your annual income is very close to the average of your five closest friends!!</li></ul>*http://doubleyourincomechallenge.com/blog/?p=1575<br />
7) Become an Intrepreneur at Work<br />Be a money-maker for your company<br /><ul><li>Strategy: Share client leads or ideas to generate revenue even if that's not part of your responsibilities (Money Magazine)
Become a critical thinker</li></ul>(YourMindAtWork.com)<br /><ul><li>Foster innovation in the workplace </li></ul>(nthdegreesoft.com)<br /><ul><li>Embrace risks
No “daylighting” (Doing non-work related activities at work)
A 2008 Salary.com survey found that 73% of respondents admitted to “daylighting” , up 10% from 2007
Entrepreneur Test(http://tinyurl.com/d3ubo8)</li></li></ul><li>Copyright 2008 by Michael M. Kiefer<br />9a) Understand Personality Types & Situational Leadership Styles <br />There is no “best” personality type.<br />Understanding the personality types of others determines how you will tailor your communication style<br />
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)<br /> (www.psychometric-success.com/)<br />
DISC/True ColorsMost people can be divided into <br />RELATORS<br />SOCIALIZERS<br />THINKERS<br />DIRECTORS<br />Copyright 2008 by Michael M. Kiefer<br />
Relater - Aptitudes<br /><ul><li>Team building “glue”
Contingency planning</li></ul>22<br />Copyright 2008 by Michael M. Kiefer<br />
Mastery of personality styles will dramatically help you with…<br />Task assignments and volunteering<br />Methods of communicating (cell phone & email)<br />Tailoring your communication to each person to establish rapport rather than irritation<br />Building teamwork instead of conflict<br />Interviewing and hiring best suited candidates for specific jobs<br />Shifting tasks among team members<br />Copyright 2008 by Michael M. Kiefer<br />
Copyright 2008 by Michael M. Kiefer<br />9b) Understand Personality Types & Situational Leadership Styles <br />There is no “best” leadership style.<br />The “situation” dictates the leadership style you should use<br />
The 4 Leadership Styles Are…<br />Authoritater<br />Harmonizer<br />Detailer<br />Coacher<br />Demos at www.youtube.com/ed2itive<br />
Leadership Situations<br />Your goal is to know what situations dictate each of the 4 styles and master using all 4 of the styles regardless of your personal dominant style or styles.<br />
This style is somewhat hard and unemotional<br />Business/task first, person second<br />Objective is to give clear, direct instruction with little or no feedback from the other person.<br />Authoritater<br />(1 of 2)<br />
Situations appropriate for…<br />Emergency/crisis example, Nurses<br />Disciplinary action<br />Termination<br />New corporate vision- directive-program<br />Setting standards of performance<br />Copyright 2008 by Michael M. Kiefer<br />28<br />Authoritater<br />(2 of 2)<br />
This style is highly emotional and very concerned about feelings<br />Person’s feelings first, business/task second<br />Objective is to make sure everyone feels good about themselves, their work, their lives, etc.<br />Harmonizer<br />(1 of 2)<br />
Harmonizer<br />(2 of 2)<br />Situations appropriate for…<br />Difficult learning situations<br />Diverse people, work groups<br />Personal problem<br />Family crisis<br />
This style is highly task oriented, not emotional<br />Very concerned about meeting standards, testing<br />Precision and execution of the task oriented, not emotional<br />Precision and execution of task more important than person doing the task<br />Objective is to get the task done at or above set standards<br />Detailer – Description<br />(1 of 2)<br />
Situations appropriate for…<br />When quality standards must be met, precision work<br />Legal requirements<br />Personal health data<br />Finance and accounting – handling money<br />Objective is to get the work done accurately, so standards are met or exceeded<br />Detailer<br />(2 of 2)<br />
This style is intended for encouraging and building people emotionally and professionally<br />A balanced concern for person and task<br />Ongoing, frequent feedback on performance<br />Objective is to mentor and coach the person, so they are brought up to a certain level of competence<br />Coacher – Description<br />(1 of 2)<br />
Use Thinklets, ring tones for your mind</li></li></ul><li>10) Master Meetings:Thinklets (2 of 2)<br /><ul><li>Thinklets are question oriented cognitive tools
Thinklets enhance natural human thinking effectiveness.
They give your mind the best opportunity to find the right ideas, solutions or answers.
Thinklets can be as simple as asking the perfect question at the perfect time
Or they may provide small bursts of thinking stimuli embedded in traditional thinking techniques, templates and worksheets.</li></ul>Thinklet Demo> www.nthdegreesoft.com/example3.html<br />
11) Embrace Responsibility (1 of 6)<br />The Newspaper Question: <br /> It’s a matter of personal ethics.<br />As you leave late for work one morning, you see your neighbor’s newspaper near your driveway. <br />What will you do?<br />
11) Embrace Responsibility (2 of 6)<br />1. You ignore it. It’s your neighbor’s paper anyway, and the neighbor will probably see it before it blows away. Besides, your own work beckons, and you are running late!<br />
11) Embrace Responsibility (3 of 6)<br />2. You pick up the newspaper and toss it back into your neighbor’s yard. <br />
11) Embrace Responsibility (4 of 6)<br />3. You pick up the newspaper and throw it away. Your neighbor won’t miss it. It will only blow around your yard if you don’t.<br />
11) Embrace Responsibility (5 of 6)<br />4. You pick up the newspaper and put it by your neighbor’s front door. And then you hurry off to work only a couple of minutes later than before. <br />
11) Embrace Responsibility (6 of 6)<br />Four categories of employees:<br />Ignore the problem<br />Toss the problem to a co-worker<br />Hide the problem<br />Fix the problem<br />
12) Extend your expertise beyond your position description<br />
13) Remember the Platinum Rule<br />Treat others the way they want to be treated.<br />
Quick Bits of Advice*:<br />“Show, don’t tell” (Jim Sinegal, Costco)<br />“Do what you love” (Mort Zukerman, U.S. News)<br />“Empower a subordinate” (Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs)<br />“Trust your instincts” (Tory Burch, co-founder)<br />“Read Everything” (Jim Rogers, Invester guru)<br />“Make a strong first impression” (Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Accel Partners)<br />“Take advice from smart people” (Shai Agassi, CEO, Better Place)<br />“Listen” (Lauren Salaznick, President NBC Universal)<br />Fortune Magazine, July 6, 2009)<br />
1213+ Ideas to “fire” proof your career<br />For additional information please contact <br />John A. Grozik at email@example.com<br />www.grozikassociates.com<br />www.digitalcampfiresfoundation.org<br />www.ROKConsultants.com<br />www.twitter.com/DigitalDocent<br />www.youtube.com/ed2itive<br />www.livestream.com/ed2itive<br />digitaldocent.wordpress.com/<br />www.meetup.com/CareerReDiscovery-Milwaukee/<br />