During times of uncertainty, being complacent and failing to bring new ideas to your employer can cost you your job, especially if you’re in a higher-level position. That’s exactly what happened to me four years ago.
I was working for the same firm for 14 years. After a decade of steady growth and some great successes, I agreed to accept a horizontal move to help out some other members of the team. But I inadvertently put myself into a “no-man’s land.” Senior management no longer knew exactly what value I provided to the organization. All they knew was that I was being paid a lot of money. That meant I had a big target on my back. I sensed that a little bit, but chose to ignore it, rationalizing they would never pull the trigger on me, after all I had contributed to the firm in past years.
I didn’t help my cause, either. You see, the environment was becoming more and more toxic as the organization grew. Office politics, which had never been present before, were starting to rear their ugly head – especially as the recession hit. Services were eliminated to reduce costs and the organization braced for a rough ride. I got tired of the battles, burned out at work and distracted by trying to run an online business in my spare time.
In my annual review, my boss pointed out that I was expected to focus more on strategic issues (developing innovative new services), in keeping with my job title and pay level. But my plate was full of time-consuming tactical tasks. Besides, if senior management was downsizing services, how could they possibly find funding to launch NEW ones? So I just hunkered down, ignored my boss’ advice and did my job.
Like many other highly paid, middle-aged executives who weren’t providing enough value relative to my salary, I was unceremoniously shown the door.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you’re feeling stuck like I was, my popular e-book, Creativity Hacks: Shortcuts to Help You Crush Your Challenges and Live a Kick-A** Life can help. It will arm you with the tools and strategies to get you back on track, creating new ideas that will help you to make a bigger impact at work – and increase your job security.