First, an most importantly, Happy 4th of July!. I hope you have time set aside with family and friends. Enjoy and stay safe.
At it's core, the 4th of July is about freedom and self-determination. It is about the willingness to bet on ourselves. Over a decade ago I published a blog summarizing a talk by Tom Shay. Today, his message is even more relevant so I am republishing this poignant essay.
Last week I had the distinct honor to hear Tom Shay, CEO of Right Management, Florida/Caribbean speak on the topic of job transition and career management. What an interesting discussion. Mr. Shay has held this position for 31 years and during his tenure Mr. Shay has seen exceptional change in the employer/employee relationship.
Mr. Shay began by sharing a very simple statistic. During his father’s generation (presumably 40 years ago), the average tenure for a manager or higher, was 27 years. Losing a job was considered taboo. As a matter of fact, it was hard to lose a job. You really had to do something wrong. Today the average tenure for that same employee is 3.7 years (update - 3.1 years in 2022). Doing a good job does not mean you will keep your job. Job transition is commonplace and expected. Does that surprise you? From 27 years to an average of 3.7 (3.1)years. Wow.
Mr Shay went on to state that what used to be ‘one job for life’ has disappeared. Today it is one boss for life – yourself. You need to look at yourself as a company and intelligently apply your personal brand to the marketplace. Mr. Shay’s point is that we are all ‘free agents’ or ‘businesses’. Companies may contract with you if they think you can solve their problem. Once the problem is fixed, you will need to find another application for your skills.
Finally, Mr. Shay spoke about the important of investing in yourself. Going to conferences, staying current and learning new things is what allows us to remain relevant. Don’t expect someone else to pay for you to improve yourself. We are all ‘free agents’ or ‘businesses’ and as such, we need to focus on doing those things that allow us to best achieve our personal goals
As you know, I spend most of my time discussing business ownership, but Mr. Shay’s points are well stated. The world is a different place. Business ownership may or may not be the right path for you but regardless, you need to think of yourself as a business.
This message from Tom Shay goes to the heart of what freedom and self-determination is all about. A great message for each and everyone one of us on this 4th of July holiday.