- What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles, Ten Speed Press, $16.95
- Resumes for Dummies by Joyce Lain Kennedy, IDG Books, $12.99.
- Knock Em Dead by Martin Yate, Adams Publishing, $12.95.
- Job Searching Online for Dummies by Pam Dixon, IDG Books, $24.95.
- Cover Letters That Knock Em Dead by Martin Yate, Adams Publishing, $10.95.
- Resumes That Knock Em Dead by Martin Yate, Adams Publishing, $10.95.
- Do What You Are by Barbara and Paul Tieger, Little, Brown & Co., $16.95.
- Cool Careers for Dummies by Marty Nemko, IDG Books, $16.95.
- Discover What You Are by Linda Gale, Fireside, $13.00.
- Job Interviews for Dummies by Joyce Lain Kennedy, IDG Books $12.99.
Posts in category People
Knowing what value you add to your employer or customer is probably the most important thing you can know about your work and career. In an operational sense, adding value means having the appropriate abilities and aptitude to develop and deliver cost-effective products or services. But, the value-added concept also includes principles, values, and attitudes.
Does moving from job to job add Brand U value to the new employer? The assumption is it does. However, the risks are higher for both parties. Intellectual property is more valuable and portable as Brand U’s with ideas and knowledge can take them to new employers. What can a company do? More are aggressively attempting to protect ideas with noncompete and confidentiality agreements.
Being a Brand U manager has its power, money, and perks. The rich but unhappy syndrome is called ‘affluenza.’ But, there is a high price to being a manager these days. But why are so many rich but unhappy.
The hours are long for a typical Brand U manager. Forget 45 hours a week. Two highly paid Brand U managers may now do the work of three. Also even with telecommunications, customers want personal contact – high touch, high tech. This means that many managers and professionals must commute or fly more often resulting in less time with the family. More unhappiness.
Something happens and the immediate response is they caused, forced, or did it to me. We’ve all become extraordinarily good at the blame game. Personal responsibility has disappeared and become replaced by victimization.
They did it to me! In some cases this is true. But in the majority of cases, it seems a person didn’t exercise a wise choice, made a bad decision, or didn’t say one simple word, ‘no.’
Pay is also shifting to motivate and reward measurable results. A part of a paycheck may even be at risk. A clerical person may find 5% of his or her annual salary at-risk while a senior manager may find 30% or more of a salary at risk.
If the company meets all its goals then the employee receives all of the salary. If only certain goals are reached then the salary is adjusted accordingly.
Do happy Brand U’s make better and more profitable companies? If the answer is a demonstrable yes, then people really do matter. The Gallup survey discussed early in the chapter found there was a positive correlation between worker attitudes and a company’s financial results.
The survey found that four attitudes correlate to higher profits: 1. Brand U’s feel they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day; 2. they believe their opinions count; 3. they feel their fellow workers are committed to quality; 4. they’ve made a direct and personal connection between their work and the company’s mission.[i]
[i] Grant, Linda, “Happy Workers: High Returns,” Fortune Magazine, January 12, 1998, p. 81.
Technology is also blurring the lines among work, family, and leisure. Work and technology are portable, transparent, and mixable. And as more of us see technology as fun, Brand U’s are using it to improve their lives both at work and at home.
But, work and life seem to be a zero-sum game – if we focus on one, the other tends to diminish! More Brand U’s are now questioning the benefits of working so long and so hard! Was or is it worth it? What are the sacrifices or tradeoffs along the way? What happens to our social and family life?
Practice what you preach.
Plautus, Roman Playwright
Warm, endearing stories and poems are often not part of an organizational culture. Business war stories of an individual or a team developing a hot product, working outrageous hours to please customers, or blazing new profitable markets are more often the stuff of corporate myths and legends.
What’s different now is that organizations are paying fabulous fees to hear warm, fuzzy and affirming stories of how people can make work more humane – to talk about things of the heart and soul.
Would these stories and approach work in your work place? The folks who brought you the Chicken Soup series of books are doing just that. Jack Canfield and Mark Hansen want to find and reinvigorate the sprit of the workplace by reading warm, compassionate stories to those who survived the continual transformation and downsizing wars.