What if help isn’t coming? I would bet that you probably haven’t sat down and really asked yourself that question. If you are like the rest of us, you probably just assume “this can’t last forever.” But what if it can? What if help isn’t coming? – An important question to ask, particularly in light of the strain we are all feeling.
Here’s a story that may illustrate this point all that much better. Alberto used to love his job. Alberto works for a large Fortune 500 company and was charged with doing strategic work for his department. He had one direct report who did much of the “blocking and tackling,” freeing Alberto to do what he was best at. Alberto’s job was one we all strive for, he not only did what he loved but also what he was good at all day… every day. “Fun, stimulating, productive” – all words he used to describe his job. When the economy turned, one of the first casualties was his direct report. Alberto was then left to do both jobs. His dream job was gone, replaced by new expectations and responsibilities. “Do more with less” was the mantra in his company.
Hasn’t that been the mantra for all of us? From truck drivers, to nurses, to teachers, to managers, I have heard personal accounts on how we have all been living out this mantra over the last several years. But Alberto’s story doesn’t end there…
Alberto did “more with less” the following year. In fact, he did so well that his business unit had their most profitable year ever. After celebrating their great year, Alberto walked into his boss’ office and made this request, “Now that things are going so well, can I get some help? It sure would free me up to do what I was hired for and best at.” His boss quickly responded, “Absolutely not. I don’t plan on rehiring for any of the roles we eliminated, particularly after the success of this past year. This was a great year and let’s see if we can make next year even better! Keep up the great work.” Help wasn’t coming. After recounting his story, Alberto paused, looked at me and said “I can’t keep this up. I’m done.” Alberto began looking for another job the next day.
Are you waiting for help to come? Are you hoping that eventually your hours, resources, role, etc… will return to “normal?” What if this is “normal?” What if this is as good as it gets? What if help isn’t coming? How much longer can you keep up your current pace? How much longer can you hold on?
What are you going to do?