In a recent CFO.com article entitled “Why Employees Are Like Napkins,” Jeff Higgins, Executive Vice President of Client Services, North America for Infohrm, and former CFO of Klune Industries, responds to a question about layoffs with this comment:
Employees are usually seen as period expenses. They're the same as a napkin. They're less than a chair, because if you bought a bunch of chairs, they are capital equipment. Computers rate far higher than people in accounting systems.
Are you a napkin? Disposable and easily replaced? You might be if you don’t have a branded and compelling marketable value proposition, a clear message, and visibility among your target market. Without these things, sadly, you may just be a commodity, one of many. Much like a paper napkin in the napkin holders at a fast food restaurant. As soon as you use up one, you toss it in the trash and grab another one.
It’s not easy to move beyond napkin positioning, but career longevity depends on it. Especially today.