Once, while I was climbing the corporate ladder at Goldman Sachs I was deeply alarmed by a restructuring in our team. We were hiring more people, some with bigger titles than me and my boss was being relocated to London. Everything was changing and I feared being left behind. I felt unprepared, even unequipped to deal with the changes that the restructuring would bring. Would I be replaced? Would my skills be irrelevant?
That's when one my mentors, a VP on my team, gave me a book that completely altered my perspective about the restructuring. The book, "Who Moved My Cheese?" narrates a simple tale of two mice and two "littlepeople." The four worked hard to find cheese and eventually they found a plethora of cheese in a corner of the maze where they lived. The group separated and the littlepeople got stuck in a rut, going to the same corner every day expecting their cheese to always be there. The two mice continue to hunt for newer sources of cheese. When the cheese ultimately disappeared, the littlepeople began to complain: "Why me?" "What's going on?" As the two littlepeople sat there sulking and complaining, the mice had already moved on and found a new, even better sources of cheese.
That was me — I was one of the "littlepeople." I hadn't been paying attention. I had assumed that I would always be the rising star analyst. The reality was that no one was out to get me. The restructuring was a long time coming and I had failed to stay on my toes. After reading the book, I quickly modified my attitude toward the changes that were happening. I enrolled in a program that would give me new skills to take advantage of the opportunities the restructuring would bring.