The Crocodile – Survivor, Adaptable

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jan 8, 2009 in Self Improvement |

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Crocodiles have been around for over 250 million years. They have outlived the dinosaurs. In contrast, you have been around for a much shorter period of time and your career probably took shape within the last decade or two. Right now, our economy is in a state of flux and things are uncertain. What can we learn from these amazing survivors, crocodiles?

Be opportunistic. Crocs see a fish and they eat it. They see a bird land on the water in the pond, they eat it. A zebra comes down to the river to drink, and the crocodile attacks. Crocs eat whatever they can, whenever they can. This helps them to survive. You should be opportunistic at the office too. Pick up responsibilities at work that no one else seems to want to do and do them well. Be the first to volunteer to help the new employee with a project.  Offer to do that spreadsheet that no one else wants to put together. Come in on a Saturday to help out. Be productive, opportunistic and you will shine in your manager’s eyes.

Get plenty of rest. Take a hint from crocodiles. Picture a river delta in Africa where the crocodiles rest away the heat of the day so that they can be alert and ready to hunt in the evening or early morning. This is true for you too. Go to bed at a decent hour every night. Save parties and late nights for weekends. Work out, maybe get a massage. Take a break. If you take time to rest, then you will be ready to work hard when you need to and will get more done.

Protect yourself. Crocodiles have teeth and scales to protect themselves. Your career should have some armor too. What type? Education, skill set and work ethic all help armor you from layoffs. If you have a solid skill set, better education, and stronger work ethic than those around you, chances are that you will not be the next person downsized. Utilize your company’s education reimbursement benefit if they offer one, or invest in yourself if they do not in order to keep your skills and education current. Learn how to do something that others in your office are not good at or are weak in such as learn Macros and Pivot tables in excel if no one else knows how to do them well. Work ethic will help to protect you too. Be sure to put in a few extra hours at the office, follow up on projects and with clients. Be an asset to your organization. 

Adapt, survive. That is the name of the game. Do not get stuck in workplace mud of laziness, exhaustion and an old, outdated skill set or you may find that you have become the next fossil.    

Jake Hanson
Senior Associate, CMCS

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1 Comment

Jun 19, 2009 at 12:01 am

Thanks for blog post. It is very good read.


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