It was a gray day in the fall of 2003. I looked around the room at all the other walking wounded, the outplaced, downsized, reorganized and laid off comrades I had come to know during the past several weeks. As we were heading into the Christmas season, I would say in jest that we were just stuck in the land of misfit toys. It was funny for a few seconds, until the stark reality of the situation struck our hearts.
There may be times in your career when you find yourself stuck in the land of misfit toys.
We were participants in outplacement with the firm of Lee Hecht Harris, tucked neatly into the suburbs of Detroit, where thousands would need their services over the next decade. The firm would, of course, enjoy prosperity; however, it was unfortunately at the expense of others. James Craft, the leader of the misfit toys or, better stated, Career Coach, would lead us through this difficult time. Some folks would come and go fairly quickly, but, for the most part, many came but few left.
One key takeaway from my weeks of time with the group and James was something that James harped over again and again: Don’t put your eggs in one basket — diversify your career and time into different areas. Although he made the importance clear to start a side hobby business, invest in a franchise outside your daily job, create a plan to have multiple streams of income, etc., I really did not get it until almost 10 years later. James, I believe, was a visionary; he knew what was coming to the workplace years in advance. But I, like many others, still had an eye toward the past, and yearned for a long-term relationship with a company, just like my father had had.
I guess it was because, in my heart, in my core, my own desire would be to do just that, devote 30 years to a company and then retire. I was still thinking how people should be able to give their time and years of service to the company and have the company return the favor with security. Today’s reality is that only a very small portion of people in the workplace will realize this rare relationship. It is no longer the norm, and definitely scarcer than it was back in 2003.
It is highly unlikely that you will work for one company for the rest of your life.
It won’t happen. Even people who went into the military and government service are now finding no long-term commitment there. Layoffs have started and will continue in these sectors. As a result, you will work longer than your parents had to work. So, you had best like what you’re doing, because you will be doing it for a long time! Most important, you are going to require multiple income streams to make it. A paycheck is not going to cut it. The quicker you figure this out, accept it and embrace it, the better off you are. Don’t be like me and wait almost 10 years! If I had listened to James, I would be further ahead in developing these streams than I am today.
So what has transpired since 2003 for my own career path? Well, most significant is that I have given my life to Jesus. My personal desire for security through employers has been released and traded for the eternal security of Jesus in my heart. I have navigated through an additional downsizing, followed by two other companies; both of which have shrunk considerably because of the changes in manufacturing coupled with the downturn in the economy.
One way to diversify yourself and enhance your capabilities is by volunteering. I have donated much of my time over the past seven years helping job seekers who have either been laid off, downsized or are just plain unhappy with what they are doing career-wise. By doing so, I inadvertently developed my career coaching skills and also created a model to help people navigate the exploration of the difficult task of redefining their career path.
I have also created various forms of cash streams. A good friend of mine, Allan Collins, of Success in HR, calls it “side hustling.” It means finding something you enjoy doing and monetizing it. Allan sold comic books for years, diversifying his income. Many people start an eBay business or an online portal selling specialty items. I started a Internet Media Business separate from my HR consulting firm that not only provides a cash flow for my retirement savings, but also prospers the sales agent and gives back to a counseling ministry for each sale made.
I launched an additional offering in conjunction with my HR firm, based on my 20-plus years of coaching job seekers: ChristianCareerCoaching.com. This has proved a success for my business beyond my expectations but, as important, has made great impact in righting people in their careers.
I believe that God wants us to be happy at work!
Work should not be awful. If it is, God is telling us to make a change!
This new normal requires continuing education, as well. I was fortunate to have received a BA in Human Resources and a Masters in Business Administration. Several years into my career, I attended several Executive Education programs at the University of Michigan. But, after those formal programs, I did little in furthering my knowledge. I did become Green belt, qualified in Six Sigma, and taught many programs through the years in the subject areas of Finance, Human Resources, Supervision, and Training and Development. But delivering training is not the same as working in that field. Except for the occasional seminar, I felt myself stagnating. So, just recently, I invested in myself and my firm and spent time becoming a certified practitioner in the Myers Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI). It was well worth the time and dollar investment, as I increased my skills and my credibility with my clients.
So, the new normal as I see it is that you cannot rely any longer on a long-term commitment by an employer. It is statistically improbable. Volunteer and enrich yourself and others. Follow James’s and Allan’s advice and create a “side hustling” cash stream. And, finally, never stop learning. Step out of your comfort zone and rekindle your relationship with learning. Enter a Master’s program, get certified on a program, get a license for use of a program, or become a practitioner of a tool that can enhance your marketability. If you do all of these, you will become more resilient to the New Career Normal.
Before publishing this, I shared this with several people, all of whom have considered at least one of these points. What are your thoughts? Is there a new normal we are missing? We would love to hear your opinion.
Many people think about them, but very few actually have them. Personal Visions and Goals. Personal Visions are important to have. If you have one and focus on it often, you will ultimately steer your life toward obtaining it.
Think of your vision as your compass, your GPS, or — my personal favorite — a lighthouse at the beach, to lead you through the storms and past the rocky ocean waves you’ll encounter as you make your way toward your final destination.
In developing your vision, ask yourself:
What do I want?
It may sound like a simple enough question, but it’s one of the toughest to answer.
So, ask yourself again.
What do I really, really, truly want for myself?
If I could have the kind of life that would make my heart sing, what would it look like?
At this point, your heart may be beating a bit faster. Can you really have that kind of life?
Yes, I believe you can. I’ve done it and I’ve helped a lot of clients lead passionate and fulfilling lives. It starts by defining what that life could look like.
Now, let’s talk goals. You must establish personal goals in order to get to where you want to go, as outlined in your Vision. As an example, here are some parts of my vision and related goals this year:
Start a business that will grow itself, ultimately turning it into a non-profit;
Manage time more effectively to end my work day by 5PM in order to spend more time with my wife and daughter;
Finish and publish my book;
Expand my prayer life by surrounding myself with prayer experts;
Spend quality time with my wife by planning two weekends away with each other;
Attend at least one in-person seminar or conference to further hone my skills or personal growth;
Share how to build “Kingdom Minded” organizations by speaking at ten to twelve events or radio stations this year;
Do a five-night backpacking trip;
Grow my social media presence by 20 percent;
Give yourself permission to dream about your ideal life, even if you spend just five to ten minutes a day, and consider the following:
What really is my relationship with God? Have I put my full trust in Him?
If I could have more of something in my life, what would it be?
What should I eliminate from my life for good?
Which relationships do I need to nurture, or which ones should I release?
What is my relationship to money?
My secret passion or dream is…
What am I most afraid of?
What habits should I quit?
What can I do to bring more joy into my daily life?
What am I grateful for?
These questions are just a starting point, so take into account all major aspects of your life – friends and family (immediate and extended), church friends, charity work and, of course, fun and recreation. Also, examine thoughts centering on your daily career, activities, spending habits, your personal wellness and fitness, spirituality, and, of course, your spouse.
Got Vision? We would love to know if you have walked through this process before. What was the outcome? Be a difference maker today and inspire a reader by leaving us comments. Have a great week.
Good News for Tumultuous Business Times- Radio Series Launched to Inspire Christian Business Owners
Contact: Keith Wilson, Praise His Name, 740.264.4604; Mark A.Griffin, In HIS Name HR LLC, 717.572.2183.
Wintersville, OH – FEB 14,2012 /Christian Newswire/ “Praise HIS Name” in partnership with “In HIS Name HR LLC” announce the launch of a twelve week radio series highlighting faith in the Christian owned workplace. Tune in and enjoy listening to Mark A. Griffin, Chief Consultant, inspire you as he dialogues with host Dee Kovach, exploring twelve inspiring weeks of Christian Business topics.
Week 1-Why do you need to build a “Kingdom Minded” company?
Week 2-What is a “Kingdom Minded” company?
Week 3- What is an Organizational Mission?
Week 4- What is an Organizational Vision?
Week 5- What are Organizational Core Values?
Week 6- HR Practices, what are they?
Week 7-How to integrate Your Mission, Vision and Core Values into your HR Practices
Week 8-How to hire the best candidates for your company
Week 9- How to manage employees to their potential within your company
Week 10- How to get your non-performers off the bus
Week 11- Ways to effectively introduce Christ into your workplace
Week 12- How best to develop and manage your Company Culture
In HIS Name HR LLC specializes in Christian business consulting for Christian owned companies who want to integrate Christ into their workplaces through the implementation of High Performance Organization HR practices.
In HIS Name HR LLC’s mission is to provide world class business consulting by assisting our clients in their quest to be prosperous and “Kingdom Minded.” We provide progressive Human Resources programs that will increase profitability, eliminate non-value added practices, increase productivity, improve quality and, most importantly, enhance employee well being.
“Praise His Name” is the place where listeners can tune in and hear interviews, music from today’s best Christian artists, inspirational messages, sermons from area pastors, talk shows with a Christian-based theme and yes, even comedy. Praise his Name is an Internet based radio station that allows on demand listening to what you want to hear, when you want to hear it. Best of all, the station is available 24-hours a day.
Praise His Name’sMission is to be the Voice calling out on the Internet! An oasis of Peace, Truth, Grace and Love in a world looking for real answers.
High-performing organizations have a clearly defined Vision. This Vision helps guide all its employees and supervision to their desired destination and explains why. Companies who have a Vision have a workplace of direction, purpose and achievement. These companies have a Vision of where they want to be, and do the appropriate things to get there. All along the way, they have employees who are enthusiastically a part of it, eagerly supporting the Vision.
What Is an Organizational Vision?
A Vision that is optimal is one that has been created, or at least contributed to, by all employees of the organization. Like the Mission, the more buy-in the organization has, the greater the effectiveness of the Vision. The Vision should be inspiring! It is where you want to be! The Vision is what you seeing occurring as you deliver on your Mission. It is where you want your organization to be in five years. We define it as five years but you may prefer to extend that, or, if you are a start-up, you may want to start with a three-year Vision. We prefer five years, because that is a reasonable amount of time for most companies to get to the next step. The Vision must be realistically achievable. If you own a pizza shop, it would not be wise to say your Vision is to grow to a $2 billion-dollar market value. But, an achievable Vision might look like: “We will grow to be a regional choice by consumers by expanding to 10 locations.”
Reflect on the following questions as considerations for building your Vision:
1. How are the market and customer base changing in the next three to seven years?
2. How will that create opportunities for the organization?
3. How can we meet the gap between now and our Vision?
4. How will we surpass our competitors and seek greater market share?
5. What are we doing collectively to capitalize on the changes in business conditions and needs of the business?
Amazon “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Nike “To be the number one athletic company in the world.”
What is the difference between Mission and Vision?
The most asked question to us surrounding Mission, Vision and Core Values is: what is the difference between a Mission and a Vision? Your Mission is what you do best every day. Your Vision is what the future looks like when you deliver on your Mission so exceedingly well.
There is, unquestionably, a key to high-performing organizations. That key is Vision — a Vision that ignites the employees of these organizations to achieve great things!
When I worked with the Gatorade Division of Quaker Oats, we smoked the competition. Why? We had Vision. And every employee who worked there bought into that Vision. Powerade and All Sport didn’t have a chance. In fact, where is All Sport today? If Gatorade did not take them out completely, they certainly limited their capabilities!
The problem is not with workers in the U.S. What we have today is a problem with leadership — leadership that lacks the ability to create buy-in for excellence in Vision achievement.
If you are a leader, you must develop a Vision, and develop it with employee input. If you are an employee, make sure you buy into your organization’s Vision. If it needs tweaking, ask to do so with respect. Your leadership will appreciate your interest!
Let’s all work together with our organizations to create Vision, to create a hope and future for everyone.
We Value your Comments. Please share your thoughts on having an Organizational Vision. How do they fit into your workplace? Do you have a Vision where you work right now? Have you worked at a high-performing organization that did?
“Do It” Amazing speech by Art Williams on winning in business. Art integrates all the principles of building a “Kingdom Minded” company into his presentation. These are all the principles we have developed into our model in which we help companies build high performing organizations by proper utilization of their Human Resources programs and practices. To be an achiever you must have Integrity, People Abilities and Character.
Art is just so tired of “fence sitters and mealy mouths.”
Art advocates getting excited! You must be excited to win! You must not be a crybaby! Be enthusiastic, positive and tough! Although recorded in 1987, Art’s words are applicable now more than ever. Enjoy Art’s inspiration and energy and his down home style of delivery. Art Williams –
Romans 12:8 (NIV) “if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. “
Over the past several weeks I have encountered a variety of circumstances where I have witnessed extreme cases of generosity. These were situations where someone deliberately went out of their way to help a random “somebody” Not a friend or a relative but someone they did not know at all. As Christian’s we are called to help each other, not just other Christians, for when we do so we shine the light of Christ though us. Several years ago we had a campaign regarding “Others” at my church home. I learned a lot through the sermon series but I also learned a lot from hearing from people who had been a recipient of someone who had acted on their impulse to help another in need. The impact that was made to the recipient was heart changing and ultimately affected the direction on that person’s life.
What impact have you made this week to another’s life? What impact to the lives of your co-workers will you make this week? If you commit to be an encouragement to your Team, if you make an impact to those you work with but not yet know you, you are helping to build a “Kingdom Minded” company.
Help our community of readers
What experiences have you had in the workplace that made it a better day for you and your coworkers? What have you done to be an encouragement at work?
I was honored to be interviewed by Alan Collins who was VP– HR at PepsiCo who I worked with when I led HR for several different business units for the Quaker Oats Organization. Alan is now the Founder of Success in HR, Inc. and the author of the HR best seller, UNWRITTEN HR RULES. His new book, BEST KEPT HR SECRETS is now available on Amazon.
Alan and several of my closest contacts have been an absolute blessings and encouragement to my new venture- Thank You Alan and God Bless you and your work.
1. “Be clear and specific on the HR value you provide to your clients…and stick with it.”
2. “Network with many – but take advice from a few.”
3. “Start planning and strategizing long before you get downsized or decide you want to move on.”
4. “Find your strength and build on it.”
5. “Balance your life.”
6. “Find a Church home if you don’t have one.”
7. “Find a hobby you enjoy and do it!”
What tips meant the most to you? We would love to hear from you. What tips have we missed? Let us know we will include them in future articles.
In the past several years I have had the honor of meeting with Christian professionals across a variety of states. These professionals are potential clients, business partners, Christian professionals in the radio and television industry, Pastors of small congregations and Pastors of mega Churches as well. Although we are living in historical times in the areas of the housing crisis, stock market collapse, record deficit spending, global conflict, environmental disasters of record proportion and the moral decay of our society, (wow- I know a long list!) I feel a sense of calm from the Christian community.
What is really inspiring is when you take a step back from it, and really look at it with focus, the sense of calmness is causing non-Christians to take notice, because they are being attracted to what they see as the strengthening of our belief.
As I continue to meet with these optimistic business people, one trend tends to stick out. They all remain focused on remaining true to their faith but also feel a stronger obligation because of the current turmoil to express their appreciation of their relationship with God as their stronghold against earthly desires and struggles. We have had trials in our world before. We have experienced wars, the great depression, 9-11, etc. But we have never experienced the overwhelming amount of global change and conflict as we are today. It is so strong many have chosen to not watch the news any longer, many are just tuning out!
The most important thing I find Christian Business owners wanting to do is to be able to reach their people with the faith message without offending them.
I agree this is what many of us are called to do, we just don’t know how and are often scared and intimidated to do so. That is why I am here. I am here to help you through the process, to coach you to encourage you and to develop your Human Resource processes to help you be the company you want to be, not just for you but for God.
So yes dear readers, we are blessed to know the good news. We know God will protect us and carry us through anything that lies ahead. My challenge to you is to do so with encouragement to others around you. Too continue to shine the light for all to see, make people want to be like you for what you have in your heart. Bring more people to the party, many are looking for something because of these times, and you know what to give them.