By Tim Klepaczyk
We’re such an individualistic society. It started at the very beginning, enshrined in the documents of the Founding Fathers… “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Certainly, this is among the greatest strengths of Americans. It has been said that in Japan consensus is paramount, “Don’t be the nail sticking up.” The Japanese and other competitors are well-known for taking an established idea and perfecting it. However, if you want an original idea, you’re better off relying on those brazen, self-promoting Americans. It is often one of our ideas that others perfect.
Still, in the American workplace we are often members of teams, but rarely are we evaluated as teams. Has your job performance grade ever been collective, where every team member got the same grade? Not me, nor anyone I know. So when the pink slip happens and you’re let go from your team, it’s natural to think you are on your own.
Fortunately, that need not be the case. I’ve recommended previously that job seekers go to job search networking meetings, join a job search accountability group, and be active on LinkedIn. Networking meetings and accountability groups in particular have reminded me of the value of community. I’ve gotten so many good ideas from them, leading to three different survival jobs (low pay by definition, but two were and have been fun), finding an independent outplacement company with quite reasonable annual fees, starting to work with a career coach, finding a way to reduce the significant fees of a professional organization by volunteering, and providing other ideas.
Psychologists say that when quizzing groups that are allowed to collaborate, they usually come up with the right answers. Use the groups available to you to make better decisions in your job search.
Tim Klepaczyk is an RF & microwave engineer with over 20 years of experience in applications & sales and product design & validation. He also loves writing.
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