26 August 2009

Making Your Own Way in a Down Economy

At BYU I have to take an hour lunch every day, and that hour has to be away from my desk. You might be thinking, "HAVE to?! Wouldn't you want that break?" Yes, most of the time. But really, if I have to stay on campus, and I can't be on my computer because I would be bothered with work related things, than I might as well be doing work. It doesn't take me a whole hour to eat one enchilada (Thank you, honey, for making me dinner!)

So yesterday I took my hour to eat an enchilada and read the latest issue of whatever magazine fills up our waiting areas in the interview halls of our office. I grabbed a Business Week with a picture of an ostrich on the front (that HAS to guarantee entertainment, right?) and headed to the kitchen where my food was reheating.

In this issue of Business Week I found a most interesting article that seems to demonstrate a principle that I've been hearing over and over again lately. And that principle is this: In a tough economy or in times of change, you have to be creative in the way you advertise your ability to contribute. For example, it seems like the accountants who survive in their departments when menial tasks are shipped overseas, are the ones who learn new skills and offer to facilitate as moderator for the new function. We also heard a professor at BYU talk to students in health programs about how they may need to approach the corporate world to create their own position rather than applying for a job description. He said that students will be successful when they show a company their areas for improvement and how the student's degree and skill sets can resolve the issue.

Well Sysco, the mega food service distributor, is offering free consulting services to restaurants on how to improve their cost savings. So Sysco offers cooking tips and graphic design for menus and spends hundreds of dollars on free services so that restaurants will keep coming back for more Sysco goodness.The article quotes Sysco as saying "We felt if we could improve their business, that would improve our business with them." Smart cookies! Read and be amazed.