Reviving your career: A silver bullet approach to staying and succeeding in your career

January 19, 2009

As we all attempt to manage through an economic crisis – by cutting expenses, reducing frivolous spending, redesigning our budget, and refinancing our debts – we usually turn again to how to manage our career.


What do we do that makes us indispensable as an employee or manager?


What's the Magic Bullet?

What's the Magic Bullet?


In Bulletproof Your Job: 4 Simple Strategies to Ride Out the Rough Times and Come Out on Top at Work, Steven Viscusi imparts that being visible, easy to get along with, a team player and open to development opportunities are the keys to being heralded as a quality employee by your boss, and someone that will never be a “victim” of downsizing, rightsizing, layoffs or “the axe.”


Visibility as an employee often means staying later than the boss, paying attention to the details, taking the lead on projects and opening up conversations with your boss.  Another part of any employee’s road to career success is to project professionalism via appearance, listen to others and speak up when necessary. To also dig for hidden opportunities while being a team player, and utilize those project successes as a way to spread credit while building those resume bullet points.


We have to be creatures of opportunity, seeing each handshake and each encounter as a chance to develop a strong framework for a better career.


While we are at work, there is always a temptation to talk about our personal flaws, gossip, complain or shop for a spouse while punching the shift clock. Don’t. The downsides are greater for most than the potentials for advancement.


While it is often “nice”  for the boss to know you are going through difficulties, remember: he/she is likely in, or has gone through recently, the same types of stuff. Would you want to be their shoulder to cry on?  Measure your bosses openness and closeness of your relationship before engaging them for such advise and sympathy.

Intimacy formed on intense projects turn bad more often than they work out in June weddings. Pursuing them leaves you open to jealousy, judgment questions, and the inevitable conflict of just being in the company of some you can not stand anymore.As Viscusi opines: “Just be clear about the risk involved. Let’s just say it’s not the world’s best bulletproofing behavior.”




Being “easy” means being a workplace cornerstone. Staying consistent. Minimal conflicts – in fact, reduce them at all costs. Discuss ideas, not the color of the temp’s underwear in front of the office manager, who is a woman. Keep etiquette in mine around all people. (Religion is for Sunday (Saturday, for some) and not for the pre-launch discussion of a multi-million dollar project you have been promoted to head up.)


If people come to you with their problems and concerns constantly, it means they see you as “the answer man” in the organization. That is good – if often, tiring.


While you are at work, you must be “useful”  to your boss. Else, why have you there?


Help your boss by training others on systems. Or educate yourself on other departments – software, policies, how they problem solve – because the more tools you have at your disposal, the more valuable you become.


Value equals quality divided by price. Quality in this case means the qualities you bring to the table – ability to speak a foreign language, computer proficiency, international understanding, flexible schedule and task assignments, and prior successes – all add to your “quality portfolio.”

The greater your quality portfolio is, the greater your value is. (And your price, your salary, increases with this equation. And you will likely never lack for a position or the headhunters searching for your talents.)


When all else fails, and your entire company flushes down an economic black hole, you have to prepare to take action. Simply put (Viscusi key points):


1)     Have 6 months to 2 years of income in liquid assets such as a CD. Sanity and confidence are important when you are either out of work or see the company is not going in the right direction. You make decisions out of strength, not weakness.

2)     Update Resume to include accomplishments, accolades and new skills.

3)     Social Network, Face-to-face network, Recruiter network – but use it as a career platform, not as a ‘what I did in the Bahamas with my boyfriend’  posted on Myspace. LinkedIn and Facebook are good places to seek out appropriate networking. 

4)     Help others reach their goals. The favors can be returned – in unexpected ways.

5)     Join a professional association or take an interest in a conference on your field.

6)     Write on your expertise and get it published.

7)     Continue Education via distance learning, outside reading (on any subject) and incorporate it while you’re still employed. Let the employer pick up the tab.

8     Staying ready and alert is the ultimate take away.


Bulletproof Your Job gives 50 tidbits of advice that are crafted to make you think about the behaviors, the tasks, the goals and the results of being a solid workplace team player. How to survive the downturns that take place, the importance of networking, resume building keys, and mentoring (having one and doing it for others.) The best payoffs of educating yourself constantly are that no one can take that away from you.


Viscusi’s posts further on his recent book at the Huffington Post.


Welcome!: A Successful Venture begins

August 12, 2008

This struck me as a time to introduce a new concept I have.

Why not write for you because you hired me to do so? Why not put effort into to a wide array of projects from economic analysis, business plans, resumes, sports writing or other pieces of flavor and substance? So this will become the site – Anything Written – married to others I’ve created and took the time to introduce myself in, or more appropriately, left you wanting for more. 😉

In the next few days, once I have worked a bit on the concept (as I grabbed the website in hopes it was free), hopefully, I will field inquiries into services offered, and how we both, client and business operator, can successfully work to met each other’s goals: your project completed; and my work and skill compensated.

Most of the services offered won’t require the usage of high-end website at a costly price to access. That should tell you that I can work around things that are expensive, but that I will also work cost effectively for you. And will look to establish a routine to get all the jobs done. (That’s your biggest concern.)

As the champion of this new venture, I want to demonstrate and reflect what it is I can do for you. Because where the rubber meets the world road that is exactly what you are after in a consultant to your project.

My skills:


1.       Industrial Engineering. College educated. 3+ years experience. (See:IE RESUME.)


1.1.    Plant Layout and Analysis – in prior jobs, I developed Autocad floor layouts, redesigned and projected future assembly, manufacturing and warehouse configurations for facilities in the 400,000 square foot range.

1.2.    Capacity Studies – determined maximum operating capacity under current methods and evaluated future expectations based on customer’s needs and programs.

1.2.1.        In Manufacturing, molding press time, WIP storage along with outsourced product information helped define maximum capacity of a facility under current paradigms.

1.2.2.        In Warehousing, limitations were based on usable docks, dock space, turns of inventory, reserve slots, forward pick slots, pallets moved per hour and cases selected per hour or day.


1.3.    Budgetary Analysis – developed operating budget for 380 personnel at various operating and employee performance levels in a food distribution center.  (Annual budget of $16.1 million dollars.)


1.4.    Project Management – oversaw $250,000 facility modification project to increase SKU count by 20%, pick-to-pallet density and full utilization of storage space while maintaining current 24-7 operation levels for Kroger Co. in a food distribution center. (Sample: Excerpt of IWI Project.)


1.5.    Database Management – incorporated current labor standards package and Access database program tools to create a more useful reporting program for senior management and employee usage.  Co-developed automated incentive program to address employee incentive package and reduce errors in reporting, recording and payout.


2.       Technical Writing. 4 years experience with several projects using statistical analysis, organizing research and creating graphics for a business plan, baseball history book and labor standards manual. (See: Freelance Resume.)


2.1.    Business Plan – Consignment shop business applying for a SBA loan. (See: Neat Repeat’s Business Plan.)

2.1.1.        SWOT Analysis, Balance Sheet, Income Statement, Historical Financials compiled in plan.

2.1.2.        Ownership history, resume, competition analysis, market demographics and consignor study completed.


2.2.    Baseball Book – Utilize quality control-like measurements to define shifts in baseball play. Incorporated research from over 400+ sources, utilized databases for statistics capture and integrated biographical and pictorial information to add depth and flavor to project. (See: Chapters of Bringin’ Gas and Dialin’ 9 here.)


2.2.1.        Hitting across eight, 14-year eras

2.2.2.        Pitching across eight, 14-year eras

2.2.3.        Negro League History and Biographies

2.2.4.        Ballparks & Stadiums across the Eras

2.2.5.        General Management, Scouting and Sabermetrics

2.2.6.        Franchise histories (Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox)

2.2.7.        Managers, Broadcasters & Umpires (not included in file)

2.2.8.        Salary Escalation

2.2.9.        World Series overview (not included in file)

2.2.10.    Performance Enhancers & Drug usage in The Steroid Era


2.3.    Labor Standard Manual – wrote guide to help supervisors understand the concepts of performance ratings, time studies, safety factors and incorporated incentive plans.


2.3.1.        History of time studies and how they should be used

2.3.2.        Proper ways to take a time study and regard for the employee (allowances for fatigue)

2.3.3.        Considerations for safety, delays and poor machinery (downtime) when applied to labor standards

2.3.4.        Usage of MTM, MOST, MSD and other pre-determined time standards


3.       Blogger. 3 Years experience. (Yahoo 360, Blogspot and WordPress sites.)


3.1.    Current Events, Politics, Economics, Sports, Biographies, Personal History and Entertainment are the primary blogs on these sites.

3.2.    Limited experience is SEO techniques.

3.3.    Limited design experience of website.




I consider myself a self-starter and able to find ways to get the job done.

I can be employed to figure out the answers/options.


Compile information and design or develop a vision of what it should be.


Work towards an ultimate goal; and see it through to its conclusion.


And the compensation…that can be discussed later.