Start Where You are Now
I still keep thinking about the elegant and simple solution one of my clients had for the customer service backlog challenge they faced in a new position: Start from Where You Are.
Since he told me, I have found so many examples in my business and personal life where I have not done that and it has taken me years to get caught up and in some cases I have yet to do so.
The epiphany I had today was with my client database. I have spent years trying to catch up on my client database starting at the beginning to bring it current so that I can keep in touch with them.
That’s when the light bulb went on today. I need to just work on the database of current clients and then back-fill year by year going backwards to catch up with previous clients.
Obviously, I have never caught up. In fact, I kept falling farther behind and I never will because of the nature of the escalating cycle. But I can be current now and go forward from here. Do you realize what a satisfying relief that is?
There is nothing worse in business and careers to be in a self-fulfilling feeling of failure because of a mission impossible. How many companies continually set their employees up for the same demoralizing never-catch up cycle with every reorganization, merger and acquisition or new process?
No wonder the change over to a different IT system, business process or cloud program is resisted. Whenever change happens people fall behind in their work unless it is handled properly. How many managers have the innate common sense that my client used?
Start Where You Are Now. Certainly when making a career transition into a new industry or sector we struggle with starting with where we are now? We seem unwilling to leave our previous history behind.
I seen professionals want to keep things on their resumes from 20, or even 30 years ago. They fail to realize that prospective employers Start with Where You are Now and they don't go back very far in your history to see how good a match you are with them.
I heard a saying a long time ago that now in the context of this model makes perfect sense: Stop driving with the rear-view mirror. If you combined that with: Start Where You Are, then you have the ingredients of a dynamic forward moving life and career.
With an unemployment rate that has doubled over the past two years and a shifting economy, "The Job" begins to explore how all this has changed the expectations and realities of work.
Produced by the Utah NOW team of Doug Fabrizio, Dave Castleton, Erik Nielsen, and Gary Turnier, this KUED documentary features the stories of people who left stable jobs to follow a dream. But there are also stories of those who couldn't make the dream work. "The Job" traces the history of work and the changing role of work in our lives and it chronicles the humiliating experience of losing a job and the daunting challenge of trying to find one.
I was having my monthly coaching session with my client, a successful marketing vice president in an online media company. We were discussing her current efforts in balancing home, family with new job, book proposal and a daily 2 hour commute.
She is one of the most dedicated and driven professionals that I have met. I have been with her career growth for over ten years now from dot.com companies through multiple graduate degrees, along with coast to coast relocations, marriage, and a baby.
When her mom died in last year she had to fly to Europe to attend the funeral. Her then employer penalized her for taking time away from her position and she was summarily laid off after returning from the funeral.
She landed an even better position in less than 2 months, a record in this economy, but again faces the challenge of keeping her life in equilibrium. She used to be the one to rescue a floundering company and do anything meet the goals and deliverables. But the lessons of the corporate political arena have instilled in her a wariness that has enabled her to back off her typical knee-jerk readiness to save the day.
The latest test of her balance came with her agreement to write an interactive book. Talk about scope creep, the publisher went from a small book on a narrow but very interesting topic to an expansive book and a much more general topic .
She would not have benefited from this expanded version as it would curtail follow on books and derail a potential series. And she would have to rewrite the proposal that she had already done. Her time was stretched too thin as it was.
In revisiting her own career goals, priorities for balance and the value of a multi-book series for her professional stature and thought leadership, she decided to renegotiate with the publisher back down to the original agreement.
Bottomline was as she put it to me, " No job loves you like your family loves you." I might add publisher as well. She has her priorities straight.
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