I can remember watching this movie on TBS with my dad as a little boy. We’d sit on the the floor, drinking endless cans of Coke, in the sweltering heat of a summer evening in Atlanta. Mom would roll her eyes and go off to bed, leaving Pop and me alone. The house would creak as it settled and the night was quiet, except for our occasional outbursts of laughter over the antics of Blondie (The Good), Angel Eyes (The Bad), and Tuco (The Ugly). I always backed Blondie, but Pop loved Tuco. I could never understand why, until he told me once- “Tuco’s real boy…nothin’ comes easy to him. He has to fight for everything he gets…just like people like us…” Well, it’s been an interesting year! Let’s see if we can sift the ashes and find some final insights we can take with us into 2012.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, some things are looking up for 2012. Unemployment is at it’s lowest level in nine months and the US economy is outperforming almost every other region. The media seems determined to keep preaching doom and gloom, but it’s clear that the recovery’s gaining traction. US companies are lean and mean. There’s also been a subtle, slight increase in business and consumer confidence in the last few months.
There are some formidable challenges looming on the horizon. The Eurozone debt crisis will definitely hit us hard (i.e. no more crowds of German tourists outside the Apple Stores), lack of bipartisan political compromise here at home, and global political / social / ethnic unrest will have a significant impact as well- Arab spring, immigration, etc.
I must admit that I’ve painted a cursory and rather high-level picture of things in general, but let’s dig down and see what all this means for people like us.
The buzz on the street, even if people are too afraid to mention it , is that everyone is overworked. People are incredibly grateful to be employed and therefore in most cases have been doing the jobs of two or even three people. Trust me…this will change and organizations who don’t get it will see their most valuable intellectual capital walking out that door. Turn it around! You’ve packed three years of work experience into one! Don’t forget to document it, both on your resume and on every social media outlet available. You should be as detailed as possible, including project dates / times / deliverables etc. When things start to move and you get an opportunity, you’ll be ready, not only to jump into the job market, but also to hold your current employer accountable. Stop reacting and start acting by:
- You know your Marketing budget isn’t going to increase and that you’re going to be asked to do more with less…again. Why not investigate innovative, new approaches, such as performance marketing, which can not only strengthen customer relationships, but also provide in-depth analytics and lead generation. These services are usually provided through a revenue sharing model, so it won’t take a bite out of the bottom line.
- Missing your Sales quotas for 2011 should make it clear that it’s time for archaic, “hallowed” practices to change! As we discussed in previous blog entries, embrace both existing and new resources, i.e. strive for more direct collaboration with your colleagues in other parts of the company and learn to use social media.
- It’s time for Management to step-up and set the tone for 2012. An excellent first step might be to identify why their organization didn’t reach its goals in 2011. A Win – Loss study conducted by a non-biased third-party consulting firm will give any management team the insight they need to avoid previous missteps! I even know a reputable consulting firm…
It’s never easy for people like us, but things are looking up! Happy holidays! I’m cooking up something already!