Act II – Reinvention: Life In The Jungle!

Life in the jungle

This could have been me.

All your skills, savvy, life experience, understanding of the business, product knowledge, political connections and strategic planning, gone. Packed into a small box along with a paltry package and a pat on the ass for good luck. You never saw it coming. Shame on you. They rolled you out for some newly minted hot shot MBA or worse, the kid who worked for you on a summer internship. Don’t laugh, it happens.

It ain’t gonna get no better. Reorganizations can be prescient. Depending on where you land after the chips fall, you might want to start smelling the coffee. Getting promoted or keeping your present position might be a good thing for a while but large organizations never leave well enough alone. If you’ve lost some of your previous responsibilities or been given a different, or lesser job title you had better start feeling that breeze.

The re-org that almost got me was advanced to me by a friend that was typing it up. Given my unusual skill set and ignorance of how to utilize me, I was barely mentioned. Most likely I could have hung on. For a while. But it galled me to no end to sit this move out and report to someone who spent most of her day buried in old, dead marketing projects. I was ready though. As I wrote in Cram and Scram, I had been packing for years after coming in house and seeing how things really worked. Or didn’t. I bailed.

Don’t let the door hit ya, where the Good Lord split ya!

In my work, I cover a lot of business development meetings where BD executives from all the huge corporations come in and discuss intricate processes and procedures as well as how much of what they are tasked to do is “gut.” Their problem is, they have lots of money and they have to get rid of it. That usually means buying out some start up, an established company or partnering with someone on an NDA. This is where you come in. Or don’t.

If you come into work in the morning and you think your company’s newest idea is to add a new flavor to the coffee machine, think again. There’s a whole lot of churning and ideation meetings going on at the senior level and nothing is off limits. Like you.

A few years back, someone came into my office to chat after meeting with the CEO. He was an interim PR person and he met once a week with the big guy. The next morning I came into my office and saw a yellow legal pad on the chair where that person was sitting. I had forgotten about him dropping by and started reading the notes from that meeting to figure out where they came from. (Yeah, like I wouldn’t have read it anyway)

What I read was the most daring, outlandish, off the charts plan to sell or merge with our distributor that would have had a huge impact on both organizations. Thousands of people. The page was littered with question marks so I knew it was a possibilities meeting but knowing the mother ship, they wouldn’t have thought twice. Or cared.

As you can see on the news, trade agreements (the behind closed doors kind) are going on as we speak and someone is always going to get screwed. It’s the law of the jungle.

Your only option is to take stock of all your marketable skills, even if they’re not related to what you’re doing presently, and continually market and network yourself. You still have to survive. I mean, it is the jungle.

Where’s my legal pad?

If you have any questions or need advice, please feel free to reach out to me here.

Bob O’Hearn

113 Wintergreen Lane
Groton Ma. 01450

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Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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