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Part: V Capturing and Keeping the Job > Be a Problem Solver—Theirs, Not Yours

Chapter 33. Be a Problem Solver—Theirs, Not Yours

Keeping up in today's competitive and fast changing work environment can be a problem, especially when you have to keep learning new skills and strategies and fear your job or business could be the next to go. Some people even start thinking grievance or lawsuit when they find that the promises made to them when they are first hired by a struggling or downsizing company have not been kept. Or they feel they are unfairly marked for an early termination or retirement, perhaps because they are earning more, are older, or have been more recently hired. Whatever the reason for the problem, a good way to think about it—and help you keep your job or business—is to see the situation not as your problem, but as their problem. Then, think about how you can help them solve it. After all, if you turn yourself into the answer to their problems, you may find the answer to your own.

I received an e-mail from a man—let's call him Henry—who was recently let go from a big company he had worked at for over 15 years. He had been a model and enthusiastic sales employee, even driving for about two hours a day to get to work—one hour there, one hour back— and he had built up a loyal customer base throughout his West Coast sales territory. But then, the corporation, which was based on the East Coast, hit by reduced sales and the need to downsize, decided to make some changes in its operations and brought in a new Regional Manager, Tony, who had the right to hire and fire any employees. In the ensuing shakeup, the Regional Manager brought in a new younger team, and Henry, now in his early 50s, was out. Worse, Henry was especially disturbed by some of the insulting things Tony said to him about his personal style. Tony had complained that he was disorganized and that his personality rubbed him the wrong way, even though Tony couldn't fault Henry's good sales record.


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