After reading Jaclyn Schiff‘s article on job hopping, it got me thinking about my own view of today’s workforce. I’ve made some major pivots in my career, some due to economic downturns, some to the “got to move out to move up” situation prevalent in so many companies nowadays. Today’s workforce is as fluid as our society is. In the 80’s, when companies started to replace the “lifetime employee grooming” with “people are capital” (that can be acquired and removed, at will), the workforce responded with “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”
In the dot com era, companies started to value employees as partners (complete with equity and parachutes), but then that all exploded with the dot bomb. I still have my paper stock from Healant that went from a value of $70k to the current price of one sheet of recycled paper.
Today it’s mixed, with some companies that do and some that don’t value their employees as assets. Some employees that want security and some that thrive on change and can’t sit still. Also, there’s a heck of a lot more employees that are striking off on their own as freelancers or business owners.
Compared to my parent’s generation, my generation is incredibly mobile, and the emerging generation is downright fluid! I feel it’s a healthy change that forces companies to value their employees a little more, and employees to value opportunities as they come.
Just as a bad employee has developed a bad reputation, companies with bad [employee relations] will develop a bad reputation. Good employees will stay away from bad companies like good companies will stay away from bad employees. In many ways, the crappy companies will be stuck with crappy employees and they’ll ultimately fail from within <– Darwinian, indeed.
Is this an era of mutual respect then? We shall see. Of course, none of this will matter, come December 21st, because the world will end. Everyone, stick close to John Cusack!