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Learn How to Keep Your Job and Beat the Competition


Keith Appleton - Expert Author

Personal Business Skills Articles
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27 November 2011

Earn more money, be successful, increase your performance, enhance your career progression, whilst maintaining work life balance and being happy.

With the western world facing financial Armageddon -‘How to Keep Your Job’ by Richard Maun could help stave off countless nightmares during the long dark winter nights?

Maun combines both an academic and operational viewpoint thanks to his experience as a visiting lecturer at a leading UK university, a freelance business writer and running his own management development company. This book follows earlier eyebrow raising publications such as ‘Leave the B@$T@*DS Behind’ and the previously reviewed ‘Jobhunting 3.0’ about effective jobsearch techniques.

Personal Development – How to be the Best

The author provides practical advice and tips on improving personal effectiveness within the workplace so we can respond positively to the question, ‘Would I employ me?’ This is the acid test when we acknowledge that we are an overhead, or cost to our employer, and it can take between 6 to 18 months to recover from a redundancy. Employees can no longer simply rely on their technical skills, experience and qualifications to guarantee job security. The challenge today (and tomorrow) is being able to demonstrate their value to increasingly demanding employers.

Making Yourself Look Good by Increasing Effectiveness

The book contains a comprehensive toolkit of 16 techniques to develop as an Added Value Employee (AVE), all of which are summarised in a Kit Box in the last chapter. These include;

  • 20 Essential Communication Skills.
  • 4 Options of change including; training, mentoring role change and moving to a new team.
  • 10 Ways to Increase Your Energy.
  • 4-Hour lists to enhance time management.
  • 7-step contracting process to ensure clarity and agreement.

These tools are demonstrated via case studies with the reader being actively encouraged to undertake periodic self-assessments and reflection. Maun is to be commended on his pleasing writing style based upon brevity and practical application, avoiding the trap of relying on complex management theories. However, the Pareto Principle is quoted in terms of achieving an 80% improvement in value by focusing on the key 20% of tasks.

Maun also delivers huge dollops of common sense, an underestimated commodity, including how to avoid a technical knockout (being sacked) by not breaking the rules, stealing or anything else considered as misconduct. This is particularly relevant to British politicians following the recent expenses scandal.

Three Steps to being Successful

Maun argues that an AVE needs to develop in three key areas. These include; Productivity, People Skills and Public Relations (PR) – badged as the AVE Concept, and the essence of success.

  • Productivity is defined as delivering the right quality and quantity of work on time.
  • People Skills relates to how well we get on with people
  • PR is how we are perceived within the workplace and the importance of effective self-promotion.

All three are subject to a self-assessment tool that can be scored to monitor both current performance and identify where improvement is required using the aforementioned Kit Box. This informs an organisational impact score, highlighting our value to the employer. I found this to be particularly insightful and feel it could be used to support many staff appraisal processes.

To conclude, this book provides the skills and confidence that will help am employee achieve the ‘holy trinity’ of; surviving in the workplace, achieve work life balance and effective career planning.

About the Author

Keith Appleton JP, BA(Hons), N.Dip.M, MInstLM has over 15 years experience within the public and third sector developing high performing teams in a managerial and strategic leadership role. This is underpinned by his academic experience as a visiting lecturer and membership of the UK Institute of Leadership & Management. Article original published on Suite101.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-03-06 11:17:20 in Personal Articles

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