Photo Credit: Wolfgangfoto
Almost a year ago, Thomas Friedman published his article Need A Job? Invent It in the NY Times. At the time it was published, I followed the comments and was surprised at the deep revulsion to Friedman’s main ideas. Whether you love it or hate it, the truth is that lateral moves within organizations and job reclassification are far more common today than the linear upward mobility that everyone seems to crave. Taking that into consideration, Friedman isn’t so far off the mark, and I’ve seen this phenomenon happen with great results in the case of Eli.
Eli had been working for several years doing various operations and HR functions, but it was a small company so it wasn’t as though there was a progression plan. Rather than jump ship, Eli got smart. He observed the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, and wrote a report for the senior leaders with recommendations that he felt would make them more efficient and profitable. They took notice, and began listening when he made suggestions, and they started seeking out his opinion more often.
Next, Eli identified more gaps in operations. Again he went to senior management, pointing out holes in operating procedures and identifying how they could solve the problems. This time he volunteered to take on those responsibilities if the company would send him for the necessary training. They agreed, and his duties expanded, though he still had all of his original responsibilities as well.
Once again, Eli analyzed company processes, but this time he focused a bit more on himself. He pointed out gaps, inefficiencies and where money was wasted but positioned himself front and center as part of the solution. He was able to document how he had already been able to save them money and improve operations. This time, he requested a job reclassification as part of his solution. After reviewing the proposal and his track record with the company, the senior leaders agreed and created the role that Eli wanted all along.
Want to be like Eli? Then follow his lead: