Been paying attention to the Survival of the Fittest going on before our very eyes in the case of bees? The very bees responsible for pollinating much of the world's crops? This is the current state of affairs: honey bees hives are failing in large numbers, so much so that many growers have to depend on trucked-in bees to pollinate their crops. In China, crops are being pollinated BY HAND!
What is the reason for this serious threat to our foodstocks? Scientists are not sure; some say perticides and herbicides, some say malnutrition (too much monoculture of low-nutrition crops). Still other scientists opine that honey bees have been bred for low aggression traits, so that handlers don't have to wear as much or any protective clothing.
In any case, there is a third option some growers are using: introducing African killer bees to pollinate their crops. This strain appears to be thriving in Texas and other states that have imported these aggressive bees. The danger of course is to humans and animals who can die from these stings. Killer bees sting readily in contrast to the domesticated honey bees. It appears that being highly protective of the honey correlates with robust hives.
I couldn't help but think about this lesson from nature and wonder if it is suggestive of what we are seeing in the new world of work. Not just how to get a job, but how to keep it and how to keep your career growing robustly. The recommendations below are based on commonly understood trends that currently prevail.
1. Keeping your job: Get aggressive about owning the results of your work; don't let someone else taka advantage of your less boastful personality and take the credit - and the promotion!
2. Keeping your job: Abandon the passive honey bee side of you, and fiercely hone your branded value proposition within the company. Get the word out by circulating project status memos, networking internally, and pushing to get on projects that will enhance your brand.
3. Getting a job: Forget waiting around for recruiters to get back to you about jobs you've applied to. Aggressively mine your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, college alumni, and professional groups to make contact with employees of your target company. More about this in other blog posts here.
4. Getting a job: ALWAYS be in the job market. Gone are the days of the "company man." you cannot count on an employer to have your career security as a goal. That's the honey bee way: "OK you took away my protect-the-hive response, now you have to take care of me, your employee." It's not happending. Now, you will be cut loose if it's financially beneficial for the firm. So get your branded value proposition out there internally and externally and get active!
5. Getting a job: Every day of your job search, pick something you can actively do to get in front of decision makers: build a company list, network into the companies, connect with employees, send a direct mail campaign, work your alumni and association member lists. In other words, leave the traditional passive job search in the past and aggressively go after unpublished and post opportunities. Even approach organizations with the idea of writing your own job description.
The work world of the past is the world of the honeybee. The hives are dying. Employers won't look out for you. So aggressively protect your work product from being poached just as the killer bees protect their honey. And aggressively pursue job search strategies that have a high success rate. You need to win in this world of hyper-competitive search and short duration jobs by channelling your inner killer bee!