With recession looming, we have to be as adaptable as the Swiss Army Knife
As I write this, Covid-19 is wreaking havoc around the world. Many of us are looking at business losses, sudden redundancy, investment and financial losses. It’s anyone’s guess how long this pandemic will last. It could be months before a cure and vaccine can be found. And even if we manage to overcome Covid-19, will life ever be the same again?
The simple answer is No. We’re starring at a certain global recession. This means more job losses and disruption. Impressive degrees won’t protect you. Especially if those degrees are too specialized and not aligned with what the market wants. The steady 9 to 5 job is likely to go out with the tide – to be replaced by contract and freelance work with zero benefits.
How would you respond to such a future? Do you give in to fear, despair and anxiety? Or do you control your monkey thoughts by choosing clear thinking over emotion?
Clear thinking means accepting the new realities of work. Leaving behind our cherished roles and job titles and starting over. Finding opportunities to use our skills and strengths in new ways and in several areas rather than just one. In short, we have to be like the Swiss Army Knife.
Take a look at what a Swiss Army Knife can do. Folded within its compact body are scissors, knife, can opener, screwdriver, bottle top opener and handsaw. There’s even a nail file! It was commissioned by the Swiss military in 1880 for soldiers on the battlefield. Two hundred years later, the Swiss Army Knife is indispensable. You wouldn’t leave home without it – especially if you were heading out into wild.
The Swiss Army Knife is a picture of how we must respond to a volatile world. Instead of staying at one job and expecting steady promotions and benefits, we have to chart our own course as “Solopreneurs”. Here are 5 ways to work like a Solo Swiss Army Knife:
Know Your Strengths and Personal ‘Brand’
You are not an employee. You are in business for yourself even if you are hired by someone. Adding value with your unique talents and skills, you look for opportunities, projects and activities where you can make a difference. This means moving on when the job is done instead of staying put and growing complacent.
Be Ready to Use Any Tool
You are multifaceted, with skills in several areas. Building good relationships with your vast network of friends from other professions, businesses and industries, you’re the first person they think of whenever they need help.
Add and Sharpen Your Tools
Curiosity defines you. Always learning and improving yourself, you make time to read and add to your vast storehouse of knowledge. You are quick to respond to change and crises with ideas and solutions.
Be Light and Compact
Simplicity and work-life balance are your priorities. You don’t spend beyond your means. Working as much or as little as you choose to, you don’t over commit or over promise. You’re not afraid to say ‘No’ to tempting offers if it disturbs your peace.
Exercise Soft Power
Ego trips and power plays are a waste of time for you. Possessing a high level of emotional intelligence, you are always reliable and easy to work with, wherever you go.
Ultimately, to be like a Swiss Army Knife is to be a Value Creator rather than an employee. A Value Creator asks “How can I contribute?” rather than “What’s in it for me?” As a person who contributes, you are in the driver’s seat of your own career. Not your boss, not your company. Remember, no one owes you a living but you!