By Paul Peng
We all want predictability and stability in our lives; who doesn’t? The sad truth is that we are not living in the post-boom period of World War II, where individuals can work in the same job for 40 years and then retire with a company-sponsored pension and a Rolex.
In our modern-day environment, we live in a fast-paced society where corporate job security is a thing of the past. There is no such thing as a “stable job” in corporate America; here’s why.
Placing Your Faith in Your Employer
Let’s get something straight right out of the gate. Businesses are just that, businesses. They are run by people that must juggle all the complexities of the entrepreneurial machine and the mistakes (sometimes massive ones) that the owners and C-suite executives can make. You may have done nothing wrong but may be laid off out of necessity due to poor decision(s) made by your employer. Remember that the number one goal is the survival of the company, not the people that work for them.
Tenure Doesn’t Mean What It Used To
Tenure in corporate America is essentially dead. Why? Tenured employees are usually the highest paid, and during recessions, employers start asking if the salary they are paying these tenured employees is worth it. Are these employees still providing good value for the money they are being paid? Or can I bring in a younger, higher-energy but perhaps an inexperienced person with half the salary and train them up? According to an article published by Indeed in February of 2021, one of the most common tenure traps is performance complacency, meaning you do just enough to get by, and the quality of your work diminishes. So, reinventing yourself or being consistently engaged with the company’s goals will help you get away from the chopping block.
We have all been there. If your company is acquired by another, depending on your position, your role (especially in mid to upper management) may be eliminated as new companies generally like to bring on their own people. Or perhaps your boss with whom you have a good working relationship leaves, thus taking away any protection you had, leaving you vulnerable to a new boss. Don’t you just love office politics?
Adapt or Die
In the era of employment fluidity, our natural ability to respond to our changing environment allows us to succeed. You must be aware of making the necessary adjustments. Start with the mindset that you are a free agent. By promoting yourself and making yourself more valuable to your employer and potential future opportunities, you may find yourself in a better position with a higher salary. Another tip is to become an expert in the next wave of technology. As we continue to evolve as a civilization, staying current with the latest technology trends can only help you.
So, get after it!