May 20, 2001
Welcome to the Fulfillment@Work Newsletter
Published by Joel Garfinkle, Dream Job Coaching
1. Feature Article: Casualties of Work
2. Quotes of the Week
3. Love Work Tip: Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds
4. Dream Job Tip: Creating Dream Job Security
5. We Recommend: Bureau of Labor & Statistics
Casualties of Work
According to an article appearing in the April 23, 2001 edition of Business Week Magazine entitled, Has The Job Engine Blown A Gasket?, the cruising altitude of the U.S. economy has depended much on the lift from resilient job markets. But after the March employment report, you had better tighten your seat belt. The ride ahead may get rougher.
Just how rough? Recent U.S. Labor Department data shows that the duration of unemployment is rising and the number of permanent job losers is rapidly picking up with only 48% of companies adding workers during the last fiscal quarter, the lowest rate since 1992. With overwhelming numbers like these it's not surprising that the carnage in the wake of layoffs and downsizing is turning more and more surviving employees into refugees, mourning lost colleagues as they wait themselves for the final curtain to close on this chapter in their working career.
One client recently told me, "I've been struggling a lot these days in the aftermath of recent deep layoffs. Even though I'm still here collecting a pretty amazing salary, I can't help but feel alone without the friendship and support of my closest peers."
So what do you do when you are still employed at a job while many of your most valued co-workers are being let go to become additional casualties of work? I remember when we had one of the worst fires in Northern California about 10 years ago and an entire neighborhood was completely demolished with only one house left standing. Did the owners of that house find themselves lucky to live in area without neighbors for many years? Of course not.
The point is when it comes to dealing with stress related to any transitional experience, no matter how traumatic or temporary, we all must go through a grieving period that comes as a result of losing close friends, co-workers and even managers who believed in us and championed our success.
The key to coping with these casualties is to cultivate new friendships and learn to realize we can generate the same success we had before, but it might take time. However, the time it takes to build new relationships to sustain your positive energy can be greatly reduced by following my five steps for improving your relationships with co-workers from my Love Your Work Workbook:
1. Become A Workplace Survivor By Accepting and Seeing All Your Co-Workers For Who They Are
Just like the overwhelmingly popular television series Survivor, your ability to "work and play well" with others during any downsizing period is even more critical. If the reduced staff size finds you interacting even more with a difficult coworker, try to remain focused on the positives of that individual rather than the negative ones. To accomplish this necessity may require you to step back from your agenda and viewpoints and look at them with new eyes and developing strategies to accept their individual imperfections and shortcomings as well as their strengths and talents.
2. When Communicating, Be Fully Present For Them & Listen Without Judging
Think of your last interaction with a particular coworker. Did you give him or her 100% of your attention? To maintain your attention span at the optimum level, clearly eliminate all distractions to focus on that person one on one. Avoid having conversations while working or speaking on the phone with someone else. Listen to their point of view and respect their opinions. Don't immediately jump in with a judgment call or your solution. Become a better listener and always encourage others to express themselves.
3. Establish Common Ground By Treating Your Coworkers
As Equals Again, think back on a recent interaction with a coworker. Did you consider yourself superior? If so, put aside all preconceived notions. Your co-workers have thoughts, feelings, wants and needs just like you do. Treat them with respect and put your ego on equal footing. How could your last interaction (and your next) be improved?
4. Discover Ways To Understand Who They Are, What They Think & Feel, And Why They Behave The Way They Do
When dealing with overly critical co-workers, clients, supervisors or any other "nay-sayer", take the time and effort to step into his (or her) moccasins and view things from their perspective instead of yours. Remember a time in your life when you experienced similar events/feelings. Keeping all that information in mind, construct strategies to help you understand who they are, what they think and feel and why they behave like they do even better. When all else fails, politely remind yourself of the wise words of Frank A. Clark, "Lots of faults we think we see in others are simply the ones we expect to find there because we have them."
5. Remember A Person Who Reached Out To You
Think back to a time in your life when a coworker reached out to you by making a distinct effort to get to know you better. Remember who that person was and how good it felt that they took the time to reach out to you. How you can you do the same now for someone else? If you still don't think you can accomplish any of this, I encourage you to choose one person to start with. Offer to buy them lunch or go for a walk to gradually get to know them better. After the initial encounter make a concentrated effort to spend time making the relationship more meaningful. Every ally you acquire during this difficult process is another step towards developing a support network to replace the one that you lost due to recent "casualties of work."
I'll leave you with one anonymous parting thought: "Friends in your life are like pillars on a porch. Sometimes they hold you up and sometimes they lean on you. Sometimes it's just enough to know they're standing by."
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~ Joel Garfinkle
Dream Job Coaching:
Live Your Dream Life!
Quotes of the week
"When you have seven percent unemployed, you have ninety- three percent working." John F. Kennedy
"I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward."
~ David Livingstone
"Never look back unless you are planning to go that way."
Love Work Tip
Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or LESS!
During a job interview, most potential employers form their opinion of you in the first few minutes of your interaction. In his book How To Get Your Point Across In 30 Seconds-Or Less, author Milo O. Frank reveals how to get your listeners attention, keep their interest, and, most importantly, ask and get what you want in less than half a minute.
The key to success with this revolutionary process maintains Frank is to remain focused on the "single thought or sentence that will best lead you to your objective."
As an aid to cutting down all you have to say into one concise, highly effective message he suggests asking yourself a few simple questions:
* What is the basis for my game plan (your objective)?
* What is the best single statement that will lead to my objective (in this case landing your dream job)?
* Will this relate to the needs and interests of my listener (the employer)?
* What is at the heart of what I say?
Thus the three principles behind the 30-second message can be boiled down to: What is it that you want? Who can give it to you? Finally, how do you plan to get there?
Dream Job Tip
Creating Dream Job Security
Although, in today's unpredictable job market, nothing is guaranteed. There are many ways to make yourself even more "indispensable" to your employer and still achieve fulfillment from the work you do.
Here are a few simple steps to get you started:
1. Think of a project you would greatly enjoy working on.
2. Propose it to your employer.
3. Explain the benefits to the company (ex. profitability, cost efficiency, time saving, boosting employee morale, etc.)
Besides impressing your boss with your ingenuity and initiative, you will be taking yet another proactive step towards transforming your current job into your dream job.
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