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Keep Your Knees Loose

11 May

We ran into a neighbor and her thirty year old daughter at our favorite lunch spot yesterday.

The daughter is happily employed but facing a lay-off, possibly as early as Monday.

She is clearly upset.

The lay-off is through no fault of her own. The company likes her and she them.

She feels betrayed like others in her situation.

“I gave this place my heart and soul and wanted to stay forever.” she said.

Now a reality check for all of us who are employees somewhere.

The average job lasts three years today.

‘Forever’ might not be in the cards no matter how much you love the work.

Companies change.

Industries change.

Hopefully you’ll keep changing too.

No one should want to do the same job, in the same place for thirty years.

My parents generation grew up during the high flying 1920s only to see things turn to Depression in the 30s. Next, they found themselves in the horrific World War of the 40s.

It’s no wonder they just wanted a stable job and a house in the suburbs.

The working world is not what it was even five years ago.

Peter Drucker said business is in a state of ‘perpetual white water’.

Things move quickly and unpredictably.

No company can guarantee your employment. It is up to you to guarantee your employability.

As Jean Shepherd used to say “keep your knees loose gang”.

Be a lifetime learner. Focus on networking and be thinking one or two jobs down the road.

What would you do if the company ‘downsized, rightsized or just outsized you tomorrow morning?

Here are excellent books about taking control of your work life.

  • Dan Miller “48 Days To The Work You Love”
  • Richard Nelson Bolles “What Color Is Your Parachute?”
  • Stephen M. Pollan “Fire Your Boss”
  • Dan Miller “No More Mondays”

My neighbor must think I’m a little nuts talking about how exciting it can be to lose your job.

But people who stay prepared usually do come out with a better situation.

Keep your knees loose.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 11, 2008 in Radio programming

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

One response to “Keep Your Knees Loose

  1. zakn

    March 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks for the advice, Alan. I used to work with Richard Nelson Bolles (at Ten Speed Press), and the experience influenced my decision to start a job club now that I am unemployed: http://www.job-club.org/ is our blog.

    If anyone you know is interested in starting one of their own, I’m happy to help them out!

    Cheers,
    Zak Nelson

     

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