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Ideas For Success Despite the Downturn

Back in November I wrote an entry called What To Do in a Recession ... providing some basic advice to all employees about increasing their "employ ability".

I have written about the subject several times and in various ways since that time. The most recent blog entry was called Its Tough Out There ... and it gave some very tough messages from a well know management consultant and author, Tom Peters.

The reality is that success today is no different than success a year ago ... what is different is the environment in which you are operating. When I wrote some Thoughts on Achieving Success in October 2008, the ideas there would be no different if I had written it five years ago. Having said that it is probably more important than ever to take those thoughts to heart and to create an action plan that you can execute!

Here are my observations:

Most people (please excuse the generalization ... unless you fall into this category) are slow to accept change. If they don't believe that they must change then they will do the same thing tomorrow that they did today and which they have been doing for the last number of years! I call these people dinosaurs ... and I'm sure you can figure out why.

Most people (another generalization) that intellectually understand change is required, (a) don't know where to start, (b) are not self-motivated enough to do anything about it; and/or (c) are too lazy to make the effort.

Those people that are willing to change and who actually DO SOMETHING about it, will be the winners, the survivors and the people who will reap rewards when the economy recovers.

Ask yourself some basic questions:

1. Am I bringing TRUE value to my employer? Am I putting in a fair effort every day? Am I efficient at what I do?
2. Is my attitude good? Am I a positive force in the workplace ... or am I a whiner, complainer, back-stabber or any other kind of negative influence?
3. Could I get better ... and am I doing something about it? Am I meeting my sales targets ... if not am I figuring out why? Am I delivering good reports/code/whatever deliverable ... if not, am I asking for advice, taking courses, investing in myself?
4. Does my job look the same today as it did a year ago?

These could be indicators that your job is in jeopardy, but also hints about what you might do to turn that around.

Some time ago I wrote a blog entry about Lifelong Learning. It might just be one of the keys to get you out of your rut! It could be the one idea that saves your job. As a business owner and entrepreneur I am always impressed by people that invest in themselves. I am underwhelmed by those people who just coast through their lives without opening a book, taking a course or striving to get better.

IF you could agree with me that by investing in your own development will pay back many times over, then just do it! Devote time every day (your own time) to reading about your industry. Take courses that will help you in your career. Get involved in your industry association. Join networking groups like Toastmasters, the Chamber of Commerce etc.

Here is a truth that I hope you never experience ... a lot more people will lose their jobs in Canada in the coming months! Do everything you can to make sure you are not one of them!