Are You Flexible Enough?

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll  get what you’ve always got‘ the old adage says, but actually in times of change and economic recession even just getting what you’ve always got is no longer guaranteed!

If you run a successful business you will know that you have to keep a weather eye on the economic climate, competitors, fashion and so on to maintain an edge. If you’re successful you know that you have to keep being flexible and offering what your clients want and need. You have to be prepared to change.

But if you are an employee are you as flexible?

Assess Yourself

I was coaching a business owner a while back who was talking about changes that had to be made within the company. Her dilemma was that she had some very good staff and some OK staff. All were loyal with low sickness records etc but she knew that over the course of the next year there would probably have to be a reduction in staffing levels. I asked her to consider which staff gave her most value and I didn’t mean staff who worked for less, or longer unpaid hours. They weren’t offering her any additional value; simply turning up and doing your job without mishap is not enough when jobs are at risk. We were talking about staff who were enthusiastic, offered ideas, undertook training, sometimes even of their own volition.

If you are employed it might be worth taking time out to reflect on your flexibility. What changes are afoot in your industry or business? Can you see a new skill base being required in the not too distant future? How can you add value to what you bring to your role? If the future looks uncertain have you considered alternatives? When did you last undertake professional/job related training?What alternative sources of employment are there in your vicinity? If you were suddenly to be unemployed, how would you manage?

Being prepared to face up to potential problems can lessen their impact and put you ahead of the field.

And if you did have to change your current role, what opportunities might there be?

If you’ve been in this position I’d love to hear from you and how you coped. Did you use an outside resource like a careers advisor? A coach? A CV expert? Did your company provide helpful support? What would you advise others? Did you see the change coming?


Posted on June 28th, 2010 by

5 Responses to “Are You Flexible Enough?”

  1. In not so distant past in the US, most terminations were handled in the order of seniority. Last hired, first fired. Often that left someone who had outgrown their usefulness still on the job but got rid of someone whose potential was just starting to bloom.

    Today, many organizations look at top salaries and will cut someone with 30 years of experience even if they are exceptional so that they can hire someone at the bottom of the ladder.

    Neither approach is the best and if employers followed the guidelines you suggest above, they would have better companies and happier staff members. It would be well known that creative and strategic thinking was welcomed and staff members could be happy to put forth their best and know it would be noted and possibly rewarded.

    See you made me think again, Jane!

    • Jane says:

      Thanks Julie! I am sure you help many folk find new and better jobs with your resume skills. Do you find people come to you before they need a new job or when the need has arisen?

  2. About 60% or more of my clients are happily employed. They are just looking to move into the next position or they have been asked by a recruiter for a resume. Others just want to keep their resume updated because it is so easy to forget accomplishments.

    • Jane says:

      Good for them, very proactice clients you have there! It’s something I often advise when coaching because it is easy to forget as you say. If I ever need one I’ll be winging it across the Atlantic to you!

  3. I think you are blessed with great clients and a great business but if you or anyone you knew in the UK needed me, that’s why Skype was invited. LOL. More than 80% of the projects currently on my to-do list are from some place other than Wausau. Most are out of Wisconsin, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Michigan, and Illinois, right now.

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