When we were growing up the norm was to be told by most parents to go to school, get a good grade and get good jobs. That’s the exact pattern that some people have followed in life. A few others have seen that it does not exactly work that way and they have taken other rewarding paths in life. I recently wrote about how job security is doing some damage to the minds of the people without them knowing it. So this shows another dimension.
It may not surprise you to see that if a hundred people were fired from an organisation, more than fifty of them will be back on the streets looking for a new job. Why is that? They switched their default mode to absolute reliance on job security. That is the only thing that gives them hope and in some other parts of the world, such people will commit suicide if they don’t get another job easily. This also can be expected in a credit society where their whole life is lived on credit and access to those good things are determined by the jobs you have and how much they pay you.
The entrepreneur on the other side does not know what he is gaining. He thinks that things are hard and it’s been pretty difficult for him to raise capital. He just has not noticed that one way or the other he is surviving. Those other paid employees that he is admiring have no life if their jobs are taken away and those ones are also admiring him. While he does not have his security built around guaranteed benefits from a job, he puts pressure on his ability to think, create, implement and survive in the worst situations. But this is not so with those who have already built their reliance on job security.
I remember an organisation where I used to know so many of the staff working there. And I have seen that the issue that happened in that organisation happens in so many other places. There were people in that organisation who had been working for more than fifteen years within the industry. A few others had worked for at least ten years and others were close to ten years.
There was a shake-up in the organisation after a change in leadership. So many of these highly experience people were fired. You can imagine how angry they were and how they began to resent the leaders of that organisation that fired them. The ranting went on for a while and it stopped. Guess what happened after that? Within the next one year almost all of them were back in another job either with the same industry or another industry.
When I realized that I could not fathom it at all. I was wondering what happened to all their years of experience. They were just hanging on in the job so they can get bigger pay and hope that the company deems it fit to give them official cars or apartments. I have even seen some people working as consultants or bankers and helping other people to start businesses. They are the ones who will tell you that you need to have a business plan or proposals and also set goals. They know everything by the book.
Just wait till such people are fired. Then you will realize that all they knew was limited to the books. They can’t start or do anything on their own. They can say how long they have been on a job but their experience can’t translate into something entrepreneurial for themselves. What exactly is the point of spending several years working for someone and getting increase in payment but you are not useful to yourself as soon as they ask you to leave the job?
Within this year I saw another person who was a bank manager and was really having it good until he was asked to go. When he left the bank things just went down. He started looking out for another job and it was then he realized that good jobs were really scarce out there. Those who offered him jobs were only willing to pay him peanuts compared to what he had been earning in the bank. In fact, what they wanted to pay him was what some contract staff would earn in the bank or what entry level staff in some organisations would get.
At that point I was wondering what happened to his mind! Your employers have been giving you salaries and unfortunately, as some people collected those salaries they gave their minds over and became more dependent on those jobs. The sad part for me is when people become so dependent on jobs that do not belong to their fathers or mothers where you can say you hope to become a director or you have already been made a director in the company. You don’t own any part of that company and your whole life still depends on it. That’s a really big disaster.
One of the things you have to do to make sure you get out of this mess if you are in it already is to get out of the comfort zone. Always remind yourself that the job you have today is a business built by someone else. Let it sink in that you don’t own the business so you must have a plan B and begin to execute it. Work hard and put in your best but always be at the edge of your seat with the inkling that you can be fired at any time. If that eventually happens then you are not caught off guard. It’s good if it does not happen but you are better off with a back-up plan.
For those just getting into the work force or are about to, I should tell you that you should not take up a job that you cannot resign from willingly. Now that’s not the kind of advice you get from HR professionals. They expect you to build your career over the years and be able to prove to people you can stay long in any organisation. They think that’s how to show you are resilient and you have team spirit. Well, look at the big picture. While trying to stay long, they shock you with a sack and you should remember that people fired from one organisation may find it difficult to get jobs in another. That may exclude those who lied about how they left their previous organisation.
Again I should say that my issue is not with working for anyone. My concern is how people become so dependent on their employers because of job security and they lose their mental capacity. Unfortunately, they don’t realize this until they’ve lost that job. Are you going to wait till you lose that job before you test your reliance on job security?
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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