ACTUAL CASE HISTORY: Like most people, Darren (a senior actuary for a reinsurance company) went from year to year, never proactively planning for his career success or job security. He always worked hard, and each year hoped for a raise and a promotion, and a decent bonus. He never planned or practiced requests for raises, bonuses, or promotions, and never took the steps necessary to increase his chances of achieving them. You might say he was much more the “hitchhiker” than the “driver” with his employer. That is, like most people, Darren simply “did his best . . . and hoped for the best.”

And the results were, simply, predictable. Though Darren worked hard, and put in long hours, he never achieved the positions and compensation he thought he deserved. He became sort of “invisible” at work, there, but not noticed. And when times got tough, and a list was drawn up of those who were to be “RIF’ed,” that is, downsized, his name was on the list. It didn’t have to be that way. And it doesn’t have to be that way for you, either.

These days, you can’t simply wait to be discovered, appreciated or rewarded. It just doesn’t happen that way.

LESSONS TO LEARN: Ben Franklin said it best: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Though it may not seem plausible, you can create a plan, each year, to develop greater job security and career success, each year. Yes, each year you can put together a rational and reasonable plan that will – without doubt – increase your chances of doing better at work. We have a “method,” a sensible way to make sense of achieving greater career success and job security. It’s easy to learn, easy to remember, and easy to make happen. It’s the only method for doing so that exists, and IT WORKS. It’s called The QVPTM Method.

You should take this opportunity to learn our QVPTM Method, and put it into practice. Each January you start a new year, and you have a new opportunity to make that the first year that you’ll do better for yourself – and your family – than you did before.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Our QVPTM Method has seven steps that, both separately and together, help you move forward and upward on the job. Consider buying our “Seven Steps to Job Security” available at our self-help website – www.NegotiatingAtWork.com – if you’d like to learn about our powerful method. Even if you’re a novice, and are only beginning to think of how you can help yourself, there are things to do. They’re QVP’s Seven Steps:

1. Develop One New Aspect of “UNIQUE HUMAN CAPITAL (UHC)”: Think about it: is there something, anything, that would make you more valuable to the person or people you work for? Perhaps one of the following would best make you a more valuable – and a more valued – employee: (a) a new relation: getting to know a great prospective customer; (b) a new invention: an idea for a new revenue stream; (c) a better “mousetrap”: creating a new system to better keep track of essential data; (d) an efficiency: finding a painless way to reduce overhead by 10%; (e) a new skill: becoming the only person in the group who knows the new computer software to be installed. These are simply examples of what might be your own “unique human capital,” which is where it all begins. Choose one or two – hopefully the best one or two, in light of what your company needs the most – and commit yourself to develop it. That’s where QVPTM starts. That’s the first step in your 2005 QVPTM Plan.

2. Consider How You Will Transform Your New UHC into a PERCEPTION OF VALUE: No matter how good your “product” is, you’ll never sell something without advertising or promoting it. No one will buy your good or service that they aren’t aware you have; it takes effort and resources to do that. Consider how you would best let people in your group, department, division or organization know that you’ve got this new Unique Human Capital. And consider, too, if they’ll see it as something valuable to their own interests. Imagine the world through their eyes: will this raise you in their minds?

3. Target Your Real “Customer,” What We Call Your PERSON OR POCKET OF PROFIT OR POWER ( or “PPOPP”): Who, really, should you aim your “pitch” to: of course, it should be your most important “customer.” These days, most businesses (and other organizations) don’t act as one, large family, but have evolved into numerous centers of activity, numerous groups of influence, numerous “Persons or Pockets of Power or Profit,” all somehow working together. We call them “PPOPP’s.” You must consider who is your own “PPOPP,” and consider how your PPOPP views his or her own interests. It is that – your PPOPP’s view of your PPOPP’s interests – that you must think about, more than anything else. Because it is what you need to affect, and need to touch, with your increased Perception of Value, which comes, in the first place, from your new or increased “Unique Human Capital.”

These are the first three steps of our Seven-Step QVPTM Method. These are the first three things to start thinking about, pondering and considering in Preparing Your SkloverWorkingWisdom Plan for this year. In our next issue, we’ll move forward with the Steps Four through Seven. In the meantime, begin the beginning of your new, proactive and powerful way of preparing for your success and security at work.

Don’t forget: we offer Model Letters, Memos, Checklists and Form Agreements for almost every workplace issue. Just [click here.]

P.S.: If you would like to speak with me directly about this or other workplace-related subjects, I am available for 30-minute, 60-minute, or 120-minute telephone consultations. (Even 5-minute “Just One Question” calls). Just [click here.] Evenings and weekends can be accommodated.