Lifetime Employment No Longer Exists
Remember the days when your parents or grandparents spent their entire working career with just one company. You do not see that very often anymore and the frequency is becoming less and less.
Lifetime employment offered security and assurance and your parents and grandparents liked that. They were comfortable, their lives were consistent when it came to employment.
Today we still see some remnants of lifetime employment, in fact, where I am working currently, there are many people that have spent their entire career with the company. Now, after 15, 20, 25 years they really do not have a lot of options. They are well vested in the retirement plan and it would take some tremendous opportunity to pry them out of that and understandably so.
The other areas where we still see what could be termed lifetime employment is with educators and all levels of government.
That Was Then and This Is Now
Today employment is tenuous at best. Businesses recognize that they must have flow in their employment policies to survive economic ups and downs. The idea of maintaining a workforce and having the business fail is not tenable. The few are laid off so the many can survive. It is a sad, but necessary fact.
The loyalty that existed between individuals and the business and the business and the individual no longer exists. In many cases the employee today is a "free agent" much as the athletes in professional sports.
The professional athlete, however, has a definite advantage over most other employees. They have a reputation; a brand. Every one to seven years, when their contracts expire; Professional athletes have the ability to test the market for better opportunities.
Sometimes they find that new opportunity, other times they end up in the same place, sometimes they end up with a minimum salary somewhere, and still other times they end up on the scrap heap because their skills are no longer what they once were.
You face many of the same issues, they one thing you typically lack is the brand recognition that makes people clamor for your services. That is not to say that you cannot create a brand, because many people do. It is just that it is not typical for most people to have brand recognition.
That is a problem and where most fail. Today it is important for you to create and manage your brand. You need to step outside your comfort zone and establish yourself and your skills in the form of a brand.
This is no easy task because most people are not comfortable with the idea. It is not within the nature of most people to toot their own horn, as the saying goes. People do not like to attract attention to themselves on a regular basis. They like basking in relative obscurity for the most part. As a result when it comes time to make a career change out of choice or necessity, they are not prepared.
There is no one out looking for you, sure someone may be looking for the skill set, but you are just one of many that possess that skill set. There is nothing that differentiates you from the others.
As a result not only is obtaining a new opportunity difficult, negotiating a wage is equally as difficult. You want as much as possible and the employer wants to pay you as little as possible. You are an unknown and the employer, understandably, wants to minimize the risk.
The Employment Scene Has Changed
Because the employment scene has changed; you must change as well. You must no longer simply look at yourself as an employee; You need to recognize that you are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of your own company and act accordingly.
You must work to:
- Establish yourself.
- Differentiate yourself.
- Create your own specific brand.
- Develop your reputation.
- Make the world know that you exist and what you can do.
No one is going to undertake this task for you. It is up to you to create and market your brand. You are the CEO!