A few years back 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. Over the course of many decades 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 50 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 3.5 years. Doing a good job does not mean you will keep your job. Job transition is commonplace and expected.
Mr Shay went on to state that what used to be ‘one job for life’ has disappeared. It has been redefined as ‘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. Employee, independent contractor, it does not really matter. Once the problem is fixed, you will need to find another application for your skills.
Mr. Shay also spoke about the importance 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.
As we move into the summer season I hope you take time for yourself, for your family. This is also the time where you want to look at your 2020 game plan and ask, ‘Am I on target?’ The first half of the year is almost gone and before you know it the fall will be here. Are you maximizing your free agent status? As a free agent, you are in charge of your future. Make it count.
All the best to you and yours.