Extraordinary Performance for Extraordinary Times

Winning PerformanceSpeaking at a Human Resources symposium recently I saw lots of nods from HR managers when I stated there is absolutely no room for mediocre skills in the workforce of 2010. There are too many people competing for too few jobs so it’s shape up or ship out.

Sounds simple, right? Not so much….

As with everything else extraordinary performance begins with the right attitude. It’s an attitude that says: “I’m ready, willing and able  to change my ways of working and learn new things.”  According to one recruiter that kind of attitude is so rare among baby boomers that when he sees it that candidate goes immediately to the short list. He said corporate American employees are generally ‘silo’ skilled – great in one position but totally inflexible when asked to do something different. “That’s not my job” is perhaps the quickest route to the unemployment office today. Is this you?

Since I have several friends looking for work I asked the global recruiter what would get his attention in a boomer’s resume. He said three things:

1. Be very clear on what you want to do. Research the company’s web site and target your skills towards their needs.

2. Know what you’re good at but be willing to learn new things. Some companies have two departments sharing the cost of one employee to justify a full time salary. Flexibility is priceless.

3. Offer to mentor Gen X & Y. Right now there’s a gap of boomer expertise in the workforce and companies are re-hiring people they laid off. The younger generations don’t have the experience so toss the attitude “Why should I train someone to take my job?”  Teamwork is tops.

Extraordinary times calls for extraordinary measures and gold medal performance is the new reality to be employed today.

Just ask The Donald.

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