Will you keep your job? Or will you be one of the people who will be politely told that you have to go?
If you are sacked, they’ll make you feel better by telling you the standard “it was a hard decision .. made despite the fact that you’re a valued staff member .. due to unforeseen economic circumstances .. blah blah”.
The brutal truth of a downsizing, however, is that there are two kinds of employees: Problem Solvers and Getters. The former type is a lot more valuable to the employer – and if you’re getting the boot you probably don’t belong in that camp.
Let’s have a look at how these two types of employees differ with a view of helping you not only keep your job, but also thrive, prosper and succeed.
The Problem Solver.
Problem solvers view themselves as changing the status quo in some way. They’re not necessarily aligned with what they can get from a job, but with what impact they can have by doing it.
In other words, they stand for something.
This, mind you, doesn’t work out well for them all the time. There are situations when keeping head down and making suggestions for improvement needs to be held back.
This means that a Problem Solver might infuriate people here and there because of their lack of tact, however they will also be noticed by management who are looking someone they can trust.
If a manager knows that an employee cares about changing status quo on something to a point where they’ll do it even to their detriment, that’s the kind of employee they know they can trust to put in charge of that mission.
This employee will not be swayed by opinion, difficulty or opportunity to make more money elsewhere.
The Problem Solver’s reward is also partially in being able to see that they’re making a difference – and can see a positive impact on people’s lives.
The Getter sees themselves as needing to accumulate rewards. They’re aligned with a need to accumulate material wealth, seniority and accolades.
They stand for a belief that the more wealth, power, prestige and comfort they have, the happier they’ll be.
This kind of attitude was the norm about 5-10 years ago, and in many corporate environments, it still is. However, the modern job market is becoming increasingly hostile to these people.
People who are not on a mission to create something (but pretending that they are) and who are a burden on their teams are finding themselves more and more assigned to tasks which are more mechanical, more repetitive, more measurable and less creative.
Perhaps you look around and see nothing but those kinds of people, which indicates that your whole company (and its culture) is centred around the Getter attitude. And this could be a good time to consider moving to a company which is on a mission to accomplish something great.
What Is Outsourcing 2.0?
We’re moving towards a two-tier working economy. There will be highly valued employees who are hired for their ideas and reputation and form the trusted inner circle of a company. And there will be contractors who are expendable and are hired on price.
This trend is helped along by the Internet, which is finally maturing to a point where real worldwide collaboration is truly possible.
Outsourcing is nothing new, of course, but until now it’s been a stigmatised poor cousin to employing “real employees” from the same country.
I think that we are, however, entering the dawn of Outsourcing 2.0, in which Cloud-based collaboration software and infrastructure, abundance of talented people overseas, ultra-fast Internet and cheap, precise logistics mean that companies are no longer tied to building teams or shipping goods within their cities or countries.
I think that in this new working economy, the Problem Solvers will be head-hunted, will have opportunities come their way (from all over the world) and will be most fulfilled and happy at work.
The Getters will become part of the casualised conscription-type working force, forced to incessantly chase recruiters and sell their services through online outsourcing websites.
Where Would You Rather Be?
Inherently, there is no right or wrong option here. But I’m sure you have a preference on which camp you’d rather be in.
Thing is, which part of the workforce you end up in tomorrow will solely depend on your which battle you pick to fight today.
You can either take some time to figure out what you care about most in life and go find a job which allows you to accomplish that. Or you can try to collect badges, silly titles and pay checks and tell yourself that those will carry the day for you.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.com
Category: Personal Branding