How the Great Recession Still Lingers in Today’s Workplace

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Yes the fear is still there even if you are working with your decimal point salary increases since that time. Today many young people will trade money for place but that doesn’t mean your company’s self-promotion about being the best company to work for in your town.

False best places to work are ubiquitous. The truth is less often found.

The Great Recession impacted salaries for sure. My eyes get wide when I am recruiting for companies. I got a job spec for a major agency global account lead and the salary was less than I made 15 years ago when I wasn’t a global agency lead.

I would have loved the perks and the miles. Continue reading

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The Best Companies to Work For in the New Normal

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I had a nice Starbucks today with a new friend today with a great smile. She came to me through a great connector. She was looking for her new gig.

She used to have a job that she loved but she had reached the career ceiling at her former company. Not sure what that means in the New Normal. It was a Fortune 500 company. We have all heard of it. There is one right down my street. She had been there for years. But she wanted to try working in a different industry.

Smart career plan in the past but career plans are harder to follow in the New Normal. Continue reading

Are Solopreneurs the Future in the New Normal?

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I read an interesting article by Jan Norman in the OC Register today on Solopreneurs. Yes, I get the OC Register and the LA Times delivered. I read the article after I scanned the New York Times and the Globe and Mail on my iPad.

Now I have written about How to Create a Job by starting a Consulting Career in the past, but there were a number of items in Jan Norman’s article that resonated with me. I was not really familiar with the term solopreneur. Guess I should read more. There are almost 17 million Solopreneurs in the country. That’s half the population of Canada. The army of Americans working independently grew by nearly one million in 2011.  That is not surprising when the unemployment rate in California is 10.7%.

The solopreneurs straddle every age group and live everywhere. That seems to make sense.

Many Solopreneurs trekked out on their own because they got fed up with the bad bosses, the archaic workplace rules, the dysfunctional workplaces, and the false promises. I know a number of people that are stuck in the wheels of Metropolis. They work very long hours in a demanding workplace where the attitude can be if you don’t like it there is somebody in line to take your place. The New Modern Times. Some employers are stepping on toes in the New Employer Employee Dance. Being a solopreneur allows you to break the company yoke.

The burdens are high for a solopreneurs. They work very long hours, and over half of them worry about the lack of predictable income, the ability to retire and the absence of security. Many of these concerns sound pretty much like the same worries of the working class. I have always said that having to create a job for yourself every day is like being perpetually unemployed. It also makes you extremely grateful and close to the pulse of life. You notice different things. The people with signs at every shopping strip exit asking for work and food. The weary in people’s faces when the search has been too long. When somebody tells you to have a good weekend on a Friday it doesn’t feel the same as when you are employed because you will probably work on the weekend. The calendar moves differently for you.

What caught me in the end was that the majority of solopreneurs are happy. Over 70% were highly satisfied with their independent work style. I don’t think that employers at most companies would get those marks on their company’s employee satisfaction surveys.

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Watch: How to Create a Job.

What Impact Do You Have on Your Company?

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I recently read or dreamt about how employees will be evaluated in the future. The article basically outlined that employees will not be assessed based on what they functionally do but how they impact their company.

That’s an interesting concept. Making your personal impression within companies has always been vital to career growth but I think the measure of impact of one’s impact has changed in the New Normal.

On occasion, I remember being in late night meetings in boardrooms with much too stale coffee deciding which employees would be terminated because of an account loss or some revenue or expense adjustment. I hated it.

The Finance person would outline how much we had to cut and then we would get a list of most company employees and their salaries. I still remember vividly the questions as we went down the list. Who is (name here?) somebody would ask and somebody would chime in the red head or some other descriptor. I am sure that’s the way it happens in many large companies even today.

Then other people’s names would come up as we went down the list. What were the descriptors that saved them? They are really connected. They are in the know. They know everyone.

In the New Normal when revenue cuts need to be made there are often two great people at a company but often only one chair in the business game of musical chairs. So who gets to sit down when the music stops? The inside person or the outside person? The finder or the grinder? I suggest that it is the outside person or the finder because they offer the promise of new contacts and new revenue.

So how do you become the impact person at your company? The Go to Person? It is pretty simple. The larger your network and the more resources you have the more impact you will have.

In today’s flat organizational environments good ideas can come from anyone if your voice is heard. That is the key to survival today. How do you amplify your voice and your internal presence? How do you create work word of mouth and reputation?

First you need to network internally. In the corporate world we often don’t know each other because of cubes and e-mails. We communicate more but interact less in person. We leave less of a personal impression. The more networked you are internally the louder our voice will be. This means expanding your internal network beyond your work team and your current lunch friends.

Then you have to become the best resourced person at your company. To become the best resourced person, you have to network broadly and with diversity in mind so you are not just networking with clones of yourself and living in a homogenous world. I know some great networkers but they only network in their industry vertical. That is like being 560 on the AM radio in a Spotify world. You need both breadth and depth to your networks.

So what channels is your brand being broadcast on?

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Watch a video called: How to Rise Above the Crowd.