Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Perilous Time to Be a PITA

Thanks to author Laurence Shatkin for his guest post today:

According to the BLS, June was the sixth straight month in which employers trimmed their payrolls. The loss of 62,000 jobs marked the worst four weeks of job losses since 2003. As of the end of June, the blizzard of pink slips that began in January had piled up 438,000 deep. July is not expected to turn this trend around.

In a book that will be coming out in October, 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs (JIST), I offer some pointers about how to recession-proof your career. For example, I recommend focusing on the core mission of the business rather than playing a peripheral role. I talk about the need for high productivity, visibility, and mentoring.

And I also point out the importance of being pleasant--in other words, not being a PITA. Being a PITA in a time of economic downturn can cost you your job. If I’m an employer who needs to lay off a worker, I’m going to lay off the PITA rather than a comparably skilled worker who is easy to get along with.

Then there’s the problem of finding that next job when openings are scarce. We’d like to think that a good resume will work wonders. But wrapping a soggy PITA, a crusty PITA, or any other kind of PITA in fancy paper doesn’t make it any more appetizing to employers--at least, once they’ve checked your references and found out that you don’t fit in well with co-workers.

1 comment:

PITA Guy said...

I cannot agree more with this post. Economic downturn and potential layoffs create an opportunity to reflect on the value you are adding to your organization both functionally and behaviorally. Self-awareness, a concept that is driven home in the Pita Principle, is the key to making the right functional shifts within an organization and for keeping your undesirable or "PITA tendencies" in check. There is no time like the present for taking stock of the qualities that can either make you or break you in a struggling organization.