It’s a win for everyone when you find the kind of organization in
which your talents can flourish.
But we live in a working-world filled with changes:
1. A CEO may decide it’s more profitable to become a
manufacturing-focused company than a sales & marketing-driven
2. Mergers and acquisitions create new cultures. New cultures lead to
new values and priorities.
3. Customers change their technology, causing your company to change
it’s tech service response.
4. Downsizing. Fewer people, more responsibilities for those
I’ve watched each of the above grow into a crisis of confidence for
employees and employers:
- Mysteriously, you don’t feel as talented and
capable as before.
- At the same time, the organization is wondering where it’s
talented people went.
Fact: no one suddenly got stupid!
Second fact: Something else will now need to change.
You or Them?
When you were hired it was a good fit because of how
was conducted. Now it doesn’t seem that way. Here are some
considerations when companies and employees find themselves in a talent
mismatch as a result of changes:
1. Companies: Take time to assess the breadth of
exists in your employee base. You may not have been using the range of
talents that individuals possess because you (naturally) hired on a
given set of criteria.
Real-life example: In the past few years I’ve had
opportunity to assess three executives who were on the “We’ve changed,
their role isn’t needed, I guess they have to go even though they’ve
been really effective” list. In two of the three cases a broader
assessment showed that they were gifted in areas that hadn’t been
tapped before. Those two remain with their organizations in new roles
and are contributing meaningfully and productively.
2. Individuals. Maybe it isn’t such a good
faster you figure out the reality of the situation the faster you can
make a decision to stay or look elsewhere.
Bonus tip: The longer you hang out in a mismatch the
more you will question your adequacy. So, knock it off! You are
talented and you’ve been performing in a talented way. The situation
changed, not you. Get yourself into another winning situation before
you conclude that the problem is you.
Our educational and career counseling entities need to become very
deliberate in painting an accurate picture of “careers.”
My take is that the approach is still, “What will you do when you
grow up?”, the assumption being that one will “become something” and
“do it at a company” for a lifetime. The reality is that a person needs
to find out their range of talents and prepare for a series of
long-term projects in multiple places vs. lifetime employment.
Building awareness of talents, project orientation, and transitions
would go a long way in offering genuine help in accurately preparing
young people for the future.
What do you think?