Friday, September 1, 2017

"It's Not You, It's Me!"

Author:  John Johnson
              Key Account Manager

Remember this line? It is the “disclaimer” of every failed relationship, and is used to deflect blame.  As it relates to our careers, there are many times you can be the model employee who does things the right way and still be let go, downsized, displaced (whatever term suits you and your own situation).

For example, in my last sales job I worked hard to:
  • Build meaningful customer relationships (people buy from people they like, and I am a likeable guy, at least I think so)
  • Actively participate in company sales meetings and conference calls (and actually be on time)
  • Manage and (come in under) the yearly budget for expenses
  • Submit those expenses on a weekly basis (weekly? Yes, weekly … company policy)
  • Update CRM (customer relationship management) regularly.  In layman’s terms, inputting notes into a system on the computer after meeting with a customer, that you can use for future reference (or for your boss to figure out if you worked that day)
  • Assist the warehouse whenever & wherever possible with product transfers and customer deliveries.  (AKA “bailing them out”)
  • Maintain sales volume in a challenging and competitive industry
  • Be that overall (and, I know this is misused, but indulge me) team player
  • The list goes on and on….

Sounds like a valuable employee, right?  Well, yes, but no.  The company realigned sales territories and my position was eliminated.  Was it fair?  Was it just?  How dare they!  In the current employment environment we work in let’s just say it is a part of life, and a part of the process you cannot control.  Your former company has their reasons, and as an “at will” employee (save for a legal issue), you are at their “disposal”, so to speak.  You could spend time beating yourself up for what you could have done differently to save your job, but what good will that do?  It is not going to bring your job back.  Plus, worrying about things you have no control over is not a productive use of your time, and expends valuable energy that can be put to good use in search of your next opportunity.  Dust yourself off and get back in the game!

Truth is, we ALL have a list of valuable traits we can bring to the next the company we work for, and our mission as job seekers is to find that company that will utilize, appreciate and reward these traits.  Just remember that bad things can happen to good people, and that your next employer will be fortunate to have you. Your next job, while it can and (hopefully) will be rewarding, is just that, a J-O-B - nothing more, nothing less.  And, sometimes, “it’s not you, it’s me”(or in this case, them).

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