David had the classic Old World of Work job. Within his large company based in Stamford, Connecticut, he learned a particular process – let’s call it creating TPS reports as a nod to the classic work place movie Office Space– that was important to the company in the early 2000s. He was good at his job and thus became the head of TPS report creation in the later part of the decade. As it happens in the rapidly changing world of work, TPS reports were phased out of the company shortly thereafter due to technological innovation.
In the Old World of Work, the process would likely have continued for a long while simply because company processes did not change so abruptly. More importantly, David’s loyalty and service to the company would have ensured that his transfer to a new department. Not in today’s corporate world. David was let go.
Being laid off is no longer a big deal as in a career killer that it was before the turn of the century. It is par for the course. So getting let go – while temporarily not fun for anyone – can be expected. The bigger challenge was that David had developed a knowledge base and skill set that was relatively unique to his large company and worse was no longer useful to any other company. We are working on ways to illustrate his value proposition to potential employers. But it is not as if David can easily transition into finance, IT, sales, marketing, or other areas where he has a skill/knowledge base. He was a master at TPS report creation. Why? Because his company made him create that expertise.
Your job is to figure out how to create your own career expertise.