This is not your ordinary career site. I focus on the three critical skills needed for you to find employment security: How to land a job, succeed in a job, and build employment security.
When I got my first “real” job after graduating from college, it was pure accident. I received one job offer through my interviews, I took it, and three weeks later I was in a different city with a new job. There was no guidance to help me along the way. No one, save a few great managers, to teach me what I needed to know to survive in the workplace.
I was incredibly naive.
Playing Career Defense
Then I went to work for AT&T. Back then, AT&T was a regulated entity that was the entire phone system for the United States. It was a company that cared for their employees and, if you did okay, promised lifelong employment.
Then came the breakup of the Bell System in 1984. The world changed. I ended up in Ameritech, one of the Bell Operating Companies. The year that company started, there were 105,000 employees. At the low point, the layoffs were so bad than only 59,000 people were doing the work of 105,000. When I left for greener pastures, there were 72,000 employees. For 18-years, all I did was play career defense, trying to hang on to a job and not get laid off.
I learned about performance on the job, office politics, corporate culture and how to change it, building new teams to do new work, and how companies made decisions about laying people off. I learned what people did to find new jobs in other companies because so many people were laid off in so many different divisions. I steadily moved up the corporate ladder from individual contributor, to manager, to a Director. Because I was a Director, I got to see how all of this was analyzed, executed, and how people fit into budgets from the viewpoint of management.
The Greener Pasture was not so green
The greener pasture was Oracle. In 2001. Right at the very start of the tech bust. I got busted along with a whole bunch of other people and experienced my first layoff. I had no idea what I was supposed to do when the layoff came. I do now. I learned.
Then came the biggest bank bankruptcy in history
I finally landed at Washington Mutual to end my layoff. It was a good run. And then that little housing bubble thing came along and, four months before WaMu went bankrupt, I was laid off a second time. So was my wife, a half hour after I was. Mine was expected. Hers was not. Fortunately, this time, we were well prepared.
But the job market sucked with the Great Recession, so Kate and I reinvented ourselves, moved to our current state, and started consulting. She’s now an FTE, but I’m still consulting.
Consulting has taught me a lot about how to look for jobs, how to start the new job right and has opened up a whole new world of business networking.
We are now products we need to sell to corporations
In case it is not obvious, I consider myself a product being sold to do work at a corporation. Corporations now have little loyalty to any person. Yes, there is personal loyalty and a manager will try and protect a particular employee. But when push comes to shove, that same person will have to take your job away in the name of expense control, right-sizing, outsourcing, or any number of other reasons to throw you out on the street in the name of some corporate objective.
What frustrates me — and has become my mission to fix here on Cube Rules — is that too many people believe they have no control or influence over their work, their relationship with their manager, and their ability to find meaningful work. They want to do a good job and they want to succeed, but they don’t know how to go about doing that in a world where corporations only care about the work you can do to achieve their business goals.
We all need to counter that with creating ourselves as a person who gets business results and stands on our own. We owe the corporation our work, but not our loyalty.
We need employment security
I want to help people be successful in their work and achieve employment security, not job security. There is no job security. Period. Getting to employment security is a desperately needed set of skills to protect our income and our family’s economic security from a totally changed employment environment.
Consequently, my viewpoint is of the worker toiling away in the common corporate cubicle. Not some rah-rah management site looking to motivate the mere mortals working in cubes.
Most people won’t take the time and effort to learn these employment security skills. It takes effort, practice, and persistence. I call those that do Cubicle Warriors because they want to succeed both at work and in their life.
We compete with everyone else on the planet for work. That requires new career skills from targeting companies for employment, writing effective resumes, interviewing, succeeding quickly in your new job and knowing when your new job will end — so you know when to look for another. All the while building your own skills and performance to increase opportunities for your career.
I want to work with Cubicle Warriors. And those that aspire to become one.
Will you join me?