Career Insurance

On November 6, 2017, in Monday Motivator, Spartanology, The Pass It On Podcast, by Scott Westerman

By Scott Westerman
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As shareholders of publicly traded companies, we expect the value of our portfolio to continue to increase over time. We terminate the relationship when it stops growing. If you’re not increasing the value of your personal brand every year, expect the same thing to happen to you.

Lately, several people I know have had to reassess their value propositions as the companies they worked for have evolved beyond their capabilities. It’s not that they were bad employees. In every case, they were dedicated, hardworking and loyal. They made the mistake of thinking that the work they did today would be good enough to help them keep their jobs tomorrow. Here are some ideas to help you build some of your own “career insurance”.

Look beyond the horizon to imagine what your company might look like tomorrow. Innovation, fresh competition and disruption are givens. Those who thrive try to imagine the future state and plan for it now.

Adapt. The technologies and work processes that were in place the day we were hired are guaranteed to be different tomorrow. Learning new skills and letting go of old paradigms are a natural part of human growth.

Have a Plan B. It’s easy to stay stuck in the same job, company, or relationship because the uncomfortable current reality feels preferable to the unknown. What would you do if you lost your job this week?

Think of your personal brand in the same way you think about your own investment portfolio. Is it continuing to appreciate? If not, what can you do as the CEO to increase the value proposition? Best in class leaders follow the processes that best in class companies use to protect shareholder value. They are always looking for new ways to augment it, embracing fresh knowledge, imagining the future and starting to create it now. They build contingency strategies and disaster recovery plans that don’t just ensure long term survival. They take the organization to the next level of excellence, productivity and innovation.

History tells us that great opportunity lies in the midst of even the most challenging times. Creating an attitude of inquisitive optimism is essential to take advantage of it. By the same token, the intransigent, fault finding, “we’ve always done it this way” impediments to inevitable change ultimately find themselves “between opportunities”.

As EPrize founder, Josh Linkner tells his team, “The company that puts us out of business should be us.” Work toward eliminating your current job by becoming the indispensable creator of your next one.


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