From Our Perspective: In These Trying Times, YOU Really Are The Boss

ken_bannister
Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor
One of the most common emotions I encounter out in the workplace these days is fear—mostly fear of the unknown One of the most common emotions I encounter out in the workplace these days is fear—mostly fear of the unknown in an uncertain economic climate. When speaking with maintenance and reliability professionals, especially those not eligible for (or unable to afford) retirement, they often ask me what can be done to better prepare for the potential reality of job loss/job search occurrence.

I maintain that we are ALL self-employed to some degree. This means that you are in control of where you work, when you come to work and how hard you work. You have set up a mutually binding contract with an organization that has agreed to pay you a defined amount of compensation in return for carrying out a defined scope of work on a daily basis. Your employer is your #1 customer. As long as that customer feels he/ she/it is receiving value, and you, the supplier, feel you are receiving adequate compensation, the relationship will remain in balance. As soon as that balance changes on either side, however, YOU become vulnerable.

Ironically, there are many jobs available in downturn economies—and employers complain mightily about finding the right people to fill them. Because prospective employers are likely to be very selective in their hiring during times like these, you must start to think entrepreneurially and "reframe" yourself differently from other potential applicants. Once you have come to terms with the idea of possible job loss, open your mind, assess your current position and prepare for a life-changing event by following these five easy steps:

  1. Take on the mindset that you are now self-employed and execute work as if you were being paid by a customer based on your performance. Develop a sense of customer relations and make an effort to understand your customers' needs and how they like to be served. If the people around you like and respect you, they will forgive small errors and be willing to furnish a reference if and when needed.
  2. Establish a difference between you and other employees in your workplace by developing a unique and innovative approach to work. Potential employers are more interested in "how YOU personally made a difference," rather than "what you did" in your last position. Document any of your past suggestions that benefited the company. Meanwhile, keep a diary of work performed and record any innovative approach or suggestion for improvement that you make.
  3. Enhance your professional development by subscribing to industry publications and learning about new technologies, philosophies and tools. Try to attend events like our upcoming information-packed Maintenance & Reliability Technology Summit (MARTS). Build a case for your participation by noting how this type of educational experience could facilitate improvements within your plant. Sometimes, you may want to self-invest by offering to donate some vacation time for the event or to cover some of your expenses—not unlike a self-employed person.
  4. Build up your credentials through respected certifications, such as that of a CMRP (Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional) or CLS (Certified Lubrication Specialist).
  5. Keep an updated resume handy. It should focus on what makes you different and more hirable than others looking for that elusive new job.

With your newfound confidence and approach to work, you may choose to use this downturn to find a new, more satisfying job. After all, YOU really are the boss. Good luck! LMT


Ken Bannister is lead partner & principal consultant for Engtech Industries, Inc. Phone: (519) 469-9273; e-mail:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Newsletter Sign Up



Your First Name:

Your Last Name:

Your E-Mail Address:

Would you like our Newsletter?:

Enter verification image value
  

Congratulations to Our Recent Survey Winner

Paul Kimble, a Vibration Analyst for General Motors, was chosen at random to win a $100 gift card for completing our recent online MT Buying Cycle Survey. You could win, too! Watch your e-mail for our next survey request.

Featured Supplier: Brady

bradyBrady Worldwide Inc. is an international manufacturer and marketer of complete solutions that identify and protect premises, products and people. Our products include high-performance labels and signs, safety devices, printing systems and software, and precision die-cut materials. Along with being a global leader in industrial and safety printing systems and solutions, we have been the company you trust when performance matters most since 1914. We serve customers in electronics, telecommunications, manufacturing, electrical, construction, education, medical and a variety of other industries.

Click here for more.

Featured White Paper: Spraying Systems Co.

SSCo Logo Color w tag

Clean Tanks Faster and Lower Operating Costs

Understanding all the tank cleaning equipment options is difficult because not all tank cleaning nozzles are created equal. Let Spraying Systems Co. show you how to reduce cleaning time, minimize liquid consumption and improve cleaning effectiveness. 

Click here to download the White Paper.