Career / Personal Development
Jack, be nimble,
Jack, be quick,
Jack, jump over
Jack jumped high
Jack jumped low
Jack jumped over
and burned his toe.
Although there are probably not many candlesticks to be jumped over in today’s market, most of us are faced with “mini-fires” every day. Although there are specific disciplines that follow trained approaches to working in Lean or Agile environments, the average worker or small business owner still needs to be able to show evidence of their ability to respond quickly and effectively to changes or unforeseen events.
In a day and age where the ability to think quickly and react gracefully is critical to the success of workers, businesses, and nonprofits, it is important not to get distracted by the wrong perception of what is in the way of success.
Although we tend to assume it, youth does not ensure responsiveness. Nor does it ensure speed. There are many mature workers that can outthink and outrun younger workers when called upon to respond to a critical change. The value of their experience in similar past situations with a variety of prospective allows them the ability to think quickly and decisively. It is unfortunate that the perception that age is a problem can undermine the value gained through having had more experience in reacting to crisis and change. In contrast, the enthusiasm younger employees or entrepreneurs bring to the market place can’t be beat. The absence of excess baggage or paralyzing past failures, the willingness to think out of the box and openness to try new things are also huge advantages when trying to problem-solve in limited time.
Regardless of your role as a worker, business owner, manager or leader, the ability to stay ahead of the curve when dealing with change is an asset that cannot be replaced. Young or old, don’t allow others to make assumptions about what you can or cannot contribute. Responsiveness is a behavior that is easily made visible in everyday communications or encounters with coworkers, customers and supervisors. It is also a behavior that is very noticeable when absent. Think about the message you send others when you are slow to respond to requests, quick to complain or blame, or look to others to take the initiative to offer solutions. These are all easily changed behaviors without concerning yourself with how your age is being considered. Move on to changing what you can to keep yourself or your services fresh and marketable:
- Respond quickly to email or phone requests.
- Follow up to remind and encourage others of deadlines or needed actions.
- Be open to new ideas and new approaches.
- Plan ahead for meetings and conversations.
- Anticipate potential obstacles and be prepared with solutions.
- Follow up immediately with anyone that you have committed to.
- Stop procrastinating.
- Look for solutions and stop complaining!
Sherri Edwards, Resource Maximizer
Sherri Edwards is a Consultant, Motivational Speaker and Trainer, with more than 25 years of experience working with small-medium size businesses, non-profit organizations and public agencies.
Sherri has led Resource Maximizer since 1997, empowering individuals to find rewarding work, and businesses to build better workplaces. She offers outplacement and coaching services for individuals pursuing a career change, by design or through downsizing, merger, or returning from an extended absence from the workplace. Her clients learn how to identify their workplace demand and value, and how to market themselves effectively to obtain the type of work that fuels their passions and allows them to live their dreams.
Sherri also offers training and outplacement services to businesses and organizations. Her training classes cover topics such as: Managing Multiple Commitments, Goal Setting, Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution.
Sherri’s effectiveness can be attributed to her comprehensive understanding of the nuances of the job market and workplace from both the candidate/employee and employer perspectives. With that knowledge, she acts as a bridge-builder over the hectic waters that separate the two.
Sherri’s wisdom is sought after by many. She has appeared on television and radio, has been quoted or published in newspapers nationwide and through several online media channels. She has also presented at job fairs and conventions delivering her knowledge and motivating attendees for more than 15 years.
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Did you know...
The 77 million people that make up the US small business workforce would rank as the 17th most populous country in the world, just ahead of Iran;
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