If you do your job, if you're loyal and hard working, watch out. You're about to be scrooged at work.
Every day, millions of Americans troop off to work with an outdated and increasingly dangerous conviction. They believe that their commitment and contribution will be repaid with job security and career advancement from their employer. They're absolutely certain that reciprocity exists in the workplace. And, sadly, it doesn't.
American employers are in the fight of their lives in both domestic and global markets. Yes, they're making a lot of money, but to stay competitive, they're subjecting their employees to two merciless practices:Doing more with less (humans)
Doing more with more (machines).
Let's take a look at both of them.
Doing More With Less (Humans)
American productivity grew at a very respectable 2.9 percent in the third quarter of this year, despite the sluggish global economy. For those who smartly avoided economics in school, productivity is a measure of output per worker. So, how are America's corporate titans achieving such impressive gains? By firing tens of thousands of employees and then expecting those who remain to work more hours and days per week.
If you have any doubt that's so, take a look at how people are doing their Holiday shopping this year. They have one eye on the Sale signs and one eye of their smart phone checking emails from the office. And even worse, many will be doing the same during Hanukkah celebrations and on Christmas morning. The pressure from our employers is intense and unrelenting.
Doing More With More (Machines)
Automation is no longer limited to manufacturing and bank teller jobs. Today, machines are conducting legal research, translating documents, answering customer service questions and piloting airport trams. And tomorrow, jobs where automation is now inconceivable - positions that require higher education and significant skill - will also likely become the purview of machines.
This shift isn't causing the "end of work" as some have predicted, but instead is a shift in the quality of employment. The economic article of faith that capitalism creates one good job for every old job it destroys no longer holds true. Machines are terminating hundreds of thousands of well-paying positions and leaving humans with fast food jobs and yard work.
How to Keep From Being Scrooged
What can you do in the face of such malevolent forces? Reset your goal and stand up for yourself. In today's world of work, there is no job security; there is only "career security," and the only way to achieve that goal is with proactive "career self-management."
Job security is a benefit conferred by employers, whereas career security is a state you achieve for yourself. It is the ability always to be employed and always by an employer of your choice. Career security doesn't happen by serendipity, however, it is earned with effective career self-management.
That capability isn't a skill that you're born with. And, it isn't a competency that can be picked up along the way in a career. No, career self-management is an expertise that must be acquired. It is a body of knowledge and a set of skills that require dedicated study and continuous practice to master.
Why bother? Because competent career self-management is the best antidote for a workplace infected with doing more with less (humans) and doing more with more (machines). No less important, it is also the best way to build a healthy career - one that will increase both the paycheck and the satisfaction you bring home from work.
Thanks for reading,
Visit me at Weddles.com