Albert's Transition to Self-Employment

Albert had been working as a process controller in a medium sized manufacturing company for 12 years. He has just been laid off. He had been concerned for some time that the work kept getting more automated and less meaningful. He used to make decisions that mattered. Ten years ago he used the computer as an accessory to complete his job. Now the software has become so powerful that he is merely an accessory to the computer. It was just a matter of time before he became completely redundant.

But now Albert finds himself on the job market looking for a job to match his interests, talents, skills and experience. He gets an offer at a company that would hire him to do what he used to do before his former employer automated. This company is a couple years behind his former employer. They are not quite as profitable and sales growth has been somewhat slower. Albert thinks it would only be a matter of time before this company is either going to automate their business processes or face elimination from the market. He would be better off rejigging his skills for the future. Albert looks into job retraining and upgrading.

A friend refers him to Wayfinders Business Co-operative because they have a good assessment program. He figures that he can become more marketable if he took some courses and got certified in a occupation that is on a growth trend looking forward. He completes an assessment in Wayfinders online and discovers that there are several options open to him that are aligned with his talents, skills, and interests as well as job market opportunities. His best option is in the world of business analysis. In this occupation the business analyst examines a business’s processes and recommends improvement so the company can be more effective and efficient and therefore more competitive. He realises that, ironically, these are the people who put him out of work. One of the best ways for companies to become more efficient and effective is to replace people with machines. But they must if they want to remain competitive.

Albert found himself at home getting more engulfed in the morass of the web. He found that he was soon spending much of his time spinning his wheels, checking email, websites, social media and the endless stream of news. He discovered that he had over forty different web services for which he had different user_names, passwords, avatars, profiles, blogs, and chat rooms. As an unemployed person he needed to be better focused. He kept coming back to Wayfinders as it was uncluttered and his time there was an investment.

Albert studied at a local college and became a certified business analyst. More importantly he came to understand how business processes are central to the production of value for every worker throughout the economy. By staying focused on members' most valued contributions, Wayfinders became an agile and resilient substitute for a bureaucracy. It had all the professional expertise one would need to run a business and everyone shared the same platform of required management tools and methods.

In the course of his job search in Wayfinders Albert happened to meet a number of small business owners at a live local chapter workshop. After talking with them about their business processes he discovered that he could help them better understand their own systems and make improvements. Using the collaborative process mapping tools in Wayfinders, he helped them to streamline their business processes and improve their performance and profits. Frequently this would mean outsourcing tasks in Wayfinders that other members can do better than they could. In this way people were able to focus on what they do best and spend more time doing what they enjoy. Instead of building a bigger bureaucracy they have a network, or web, of experts they trust and depend on.

With that sense of irony, Albert embarked on a path in which he often recommends that businesses automate more. Appreciating the difficulties this poses for those who may be laid off, he came to realise that this does not have to be the case. Many people slated to be replaced by automated tasks are quite talented and motivated and can actually help their employer’s company grow and develop in new directions. As employees of a member company they are likely using Wayfinders on a daily basis. These people can be redeployed for the mutual gain of both employer and employee. Not only that, but those staff with years of experience and insights can be more meaningfully employed than they were when simply monitoring computers. Now, in addition to getting his client companies to use Wayfinders to adopt a continuous improvement program, Albert, also refers other laid off employees to Wayfinders to consider their employment and self-employment options. He sees this as a win-win environment for everyone.