Career Calling

November 13, 2013

A Job Is not a Gift, and It’s not Yours

Filed under: Career Management — claycerny @ 9:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I met a pleasant young man at a neighborhood business.  I asked him about the owner whom I had not seen in a while.  The young man said, “He’s still here.  I really like him because he gave me this job.”  Since the young man was pleasant, I didn’t want to confront him, but his thinking is not clear: No business owner “gives” a job.  No job is a gift.

A business hires because it needs people to work.  The goal is to hire the best employee at the lowest wage.  As we’ve seen so often over the last 30 years, companies cut employees whose work is not needed.  Offshoring and automation have killed millions of American jobs.  It’s no more fair to say those jobs were “stolen” than that they were “given.”

Too often we personalize relationships in a way that confuses them.  I have clients who talk about “my” job in a way that increases the pain of job loss and hinders the ability to move forward.  Treat a job as what it is, a relationship in which you are trading your skill, time, and effort for a wage.  It’s fine to appreciate personal relationships with co-workers, including supervisors.  But it’s career-deadly to think about your job in the wrong perspective.  Know that every employee is a cost to an employer.  If that cost can be lessened or eliminated, any smart business owner will do so.  It’s not personal. It’s not about loyalty.  Workers need to take the same attitude and keep looking for the best career opportunity.

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