Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The So-Called Perils of Job-Hopping - Part II

Most of our employers have given us hire letters that state that we have “employment-at-will.” This means our employers can terminate us at any time without stating a reason. They can chuck us out into the streets, without thought of where we’ll go from there, how soon we’ll be able to find another job, how we’ll be able to maintain our home and feed our families, etc. So, let’s take a reality check. Here are a few reasons why many people leave their jobs:

· They found a better job;
· They want better pay or health insurance;
· They are relocating to another city or state;
· They want to change their career path or profession;
· They are returning to school;
· They had a child and have decided to become a stay-at-home mom or to stop working for a couple of years to be home with their child;
· They’re trying to escape a hostile and offensive work environment; or
· Death

Regardless of the reason why a person leaves employment, the result is the same. The company finds a way to get the person’s work done! I know we all like to have moments of self-importance when we convince ourselves (read: fantasize) that we’re invaluable and that no one is capable of filling our shoes at work. That’s a load of crap!

In the grand scheme of things, sorry, but you just aren’t that important!

I don’t care who you are, you can be replaced. Your replacement may not be as skilled as you—at first—but, after performing your duties for a while they may equal or even surpass your job performance. And, if your first replacement isn’t up to snuff, the company will terminate the person, transfer the person or execute some other personnel action. But, in the end, another replacement will move into your job—until someone finally gets it right or comes close enough to getting “your job” right that things can stay afloat and work can move forward.

I don’t care who you are or who you think you are! If you were to be run over by a car tomorrow morning, your coworkers would collect money to send a bouquet of flowers to your mother or to send a funeral arrangement for your casket and then they’ll be off pillaging your office for your note board, stapler, comfy swivel chair, pens and highlighters, bookshelf and other office furniture.

And, by noon, the day after your funeral, someone will officially be promoted to your position, your work will be divided up among your coworkers or a temp will be sitting at your desk performing your work. The temp might be working on a temp-to-perm basis, so they could end up with your job for good. No one will be mentioning your name within days or weeks of your death! Believe that! When’s the last time someone in your office mentioned a dead (or even retired) ex-coworker? That’s the perspective you need to keep.

Look out for your own best interests!

We essentially rent out our lives, 8 hours per day (not counting our commute time), to employers that will always find a way to make due with or without us. Always keep that in mind. You are not indispensable. In fact, if you screw up enough, your employer won’t even wait for your resignation. Your employer will fire you!

-- Employment at-will (fired without stated reason/cause)
-- Termination for cause (fired with reason—true or fabricated, lack of work/lay-offs, reorganization, etc.)
-- Constructive termination (having conditions created to force you to resign your position)

Your employer has many ways to get rid of you and will do so as needed! It’s one thing to be loyal to an employer. However, it’s another thing to be stupid. Do not sell away your precious commodity—your talent—to an undeserving employer, when there are other opportunities that you may find truly fulfilling. So, if you have the chance to move into a better job--whatever that means for you and/or your family (money, a better career path, better benefits, etc.)--get to stepping! Let the so-called job-hopping begin!

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Blogger K. Restoule said...

Employment at Will? it's laws like that that make me glad to be Canadian .

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something to be said about being selfish when it comes to you, your family and your well being. For years I have told people that the company may have to hire someone but it doesn't have to be you. Along with that, as Black candidates have to understand that in some cases, it's not us, because we are Black. Though no one in thier right mind will admit to it. My point is, do what's right for you. If that means changing jobs, then do it and don't appologize for it. Find what's right for you and out perform the person who was there before. Life is short and we spend too much time at work as it is. So why stay at a place when you're miserable. Find a job that's fun and rewarding but always watch your back.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very true, don’t be afraid to job hop if you are not treated properly. A white male has been promoted before me even though I am far more qualified than he is. In fact he has no qualification at all. I am actively looking for another job & leave.

3:37 AM  

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