ASSOCIATES (vol. 2, no. 2, November 1995) - associates.ucr.edu
Table of Contents
_BECOMING AN INDISPENSABLE EMPLOYEE IN AN DISPOSABLE WORLD_ Neal Whitten San Diego: Pfeifer and Company 1995 ISBN 0-89-384269-9 $19.95 A Review by Bob Farnsworth Senior Library Technical Assistant Serials Department University of North Florida libtech@unf1vm Yes, even in some library lounges, people are starting to hear the same "good news, bad news" routine as in corporate boardrooms. The good news is that there will be more efficiency, better use of resources, and fewer employee relations problems. The bad news is that to accomplish this, there will be downsizing. In a very frank way, Neal Whitten deals with the problems of job security -- in any job -- and speaks with experience from his past years at IBM. Whitten begins by reminding readers that most people today "do not believe they have the capacity to succeed-- or even deserve to succeed--in accomplishing the endeavors they feel are important." This statement is followed by some very interesting checklists and exercises designed to help the reader to determine if she or he has accepted some common erroneous assumptions about employment, risk-taking, and control of one's future. Following Whitten's directions, one can now begin to learn to reprogram oneself. "Employment," he says", "is not guaranteed. You must work to earn your position every day." Whitten reminds us that the traditional idea of job security is nearly gone. These days, no matter how important an employee has been in the past, he still has to prove his worth to his employer every day. Long tenure followed by a happy retirement can no longer be taken for granted While this can be depressing at times, we are still shown that we do have some control--something can be done. Within each job--no matter how strictly guidelines have been set up, an employee can and should set up personal goals in areas from time management to constructive use of problem solving. An employee should analyze the job as if he were his own employer--and should design methods acceptable to his superiors to incorporate continuous improvement. Whitten sets up the following steps: 1> Understand how you perform your work today; that is, the process you follow 2) Measure key aspects of your process 3) Analyze how you can improve your process 4) Make adjustments to improve your process 5) Repeat these steps, beginning with Step 1. No matter what your job circumstances and situations, Whitten has written sections also reminding you of your basic skills at dealing with other people--whether they be co-workers or the public in general. Some suggestions include offering at least one compliment each day, going out of your way to do something kind for one person each day, and giving praise in public (and criticism in private). As you follow Whitten's suggestions, it is not unlikely that it will be discovered that you are becoming more and more indispensable. As Whitten sums up, "The people who have the most secure jobs tomorrow are improving their value today."