ACTUAL CASE HISTORY: Shelly worked as a fundraiser in the Development Dept. of a large Midwestern medical center. She was hardworking, successful, and got along with all of her colleagues. Still, she wasn’t part of the “club” or “in crowd” at the medical center. Though she wasn’t aware of any imminent changes, she was worried about job security. Being a single mom of two kids nearing college age, she had a lot of burdens to carry. She consulted us for advice.
We learned from Shelley that the father of her grad-school roommate was a successful venture capitalist, and a large contributor to charitable causes. He also sat on the board of directors of a large foundation. Each year he made a considerable contribution to the medical center. We also learned from Shelley that over the years she developed a close professional, and personal, relation with the Director of Corporate Gifts for one of the Big Three auto makers in Detroit who was, herself, a single mom of high school-age kids. Most importantly, we learned from Shelley that she considered these two relations to be “her business only,” not for public consumption at work.
At our suggestion, Shelley shifted gears a bit:
1. Shelley committed herself to developing the gift-giving potential of these two relations, and interested both in the benefits of making a substantial gift to the next capital gifts campaign.
2. Shelley proposed a new capital campaign to her development department, focused on bioengineering, one of the hottest topics in research medicine.
3. Shelley made sure that the Director of Development, the Chief Financial Officer and the Board Chairperson all learned of her new ideas, and her new potential sources of capital gifts.
When the medical center later went through two rounds of cost-cutting and downsizing, unlike others in her department, Shelley survived. In fact, she thrived: she was promoted to take over her supervisor’s responsibilities when he was laid off.
THE LESSON TO LEARN: There’s a lot you can do by yourself, and for yourself, to increase your Job Security. Three of the most important are: (a) make sure you have, acquire and continue to develop “unique human capital,” that is, special skills, relations, or knowledge; (b) make sure your unique human capital is known to others, so that you are perceived as valuable; (c) make sure you are perceived as valuable to people or pockets of power or profit (we call them “P.P.O.P.P.’s”), that is the people who may, one day, make the decision regarding whether you “stay or go” during difficult times. These three steps are the first three steps in our “Seven Steps to Job Security”™ that we frequently write about and speak about publicly. They will affect “the decisions” made by “the decision-makers” regarding your employment – and how secure it is. You can do a lot to affect both those decisions and those decision-makers.
Our unique SkloverWorkingWisdom™ Method of Negotiating for Yourself at Work is the source of these ideas, and may be of great help to you, and your loved ones.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Start by assessing yourself: what is your “unique human capital.” Continue by acquiring more, and developing, those skills, relations and knowledge. Next, make sure that you advertise, publicize and promote that unique human capital until it is a clear “perception of value” in your workplace. Finally, analyze and address the perceptions of your workplace’s persons or pockets of power or profit (that is, your “P.P.O.P.P.’s”), for they will make your job-security decisions.
Job security’s not being handed out anymore. But there’s an awful lot of job security out there if you just go out and grab it. The decision’s up to you. After all, it is your life. These concepts are part of the Seven Step Method. Consider the value of learning more of the insights and advantages of our SkloverWorkingWisdom™ Method.