A Tap on the Glass - Vol. 23 - Getting What's Deserved

Something that's been forgotten in our entitlement society.


Maybe it’s time to alter your expectations a little…

Despite ongoing and increasing innovation to hold the Corporate walls up, organizations can’t stop the world from changing.

The best they can do is adapt. The smart ones change before they have to.

The lucky ones manage to scramble and adjust when push comes to shove.

The rest… well, they’re at a loss at what to do and many of them become history.

As organizations maneuver in an effort to cope with rapid change, some careers always get caught in the cracks. It's unfortunate, but completely unavoidable.

Some employees get pinched and, naturally, people cry foul. They accuse top management of "breaking the psychological contract," of changing the rules.

But it's more accurate to say the organization is merely responding to a rule change called by the WORLD.

The irony is that executives today are in a no-win situation.

If they're smart, and change early like they should, they're described as uncaring and over-reactive.

If they drag around and don't change until the world forces the issue, they're considered inept as well as cruel.

Part of the problem lies in the "entitlement" mind-set that has crept into our thinking over the past couple of decades. People came to believe that, because of all the years of work they put in, the organization "owed" them continued employment. Sticking with an outfit - loosely referred to as loyalty - was supposed to entitle a person to job security. Employees learned to expect regular pay increases and periodic promotions. Some folks even went so far as to presume they had a "right" to expect their employers to keep them happy and provide high job satisfaction. The burden of responsibility for people's careers kept shifting further and further away from employees, and more onto the backs of employers. Both parties bought into this system, and it has been bad for all concerned. The employees became the children that constantly had to be watched and the Employers…well they became the Parent.

Too often, employees rest on their past achievements or hide in the process, instead of requiring themselves to constantly upgrade their skills. They counted on their work HISTORY to qualify them for a promising career FUTURE. They have become too dependent on their employers, expecting protective employee policies to shield them from the forces of change going on around the globe as well as their company.

Obviously, it hasn't worked. High-velocity change has eliminated the need for many jobs. Here at our corporate offices, phone lines have dropped from 36 to 9...staff from as many as 15 to 8. Because of new technology and competition, organizations are being reshaped and work is being done differently. The marketplace is merciless, and it puts definite limits on how generous or protective an organization can be with its people. Many times the Employee – Employer relationship is being asked to do things it’s not only not designed to do, but not required to.

What this means for you is that you should re-frame your relationship with your organization, just as it must re-frame its relationship with customers and competitors. Don't fall into the trap of assuming that you're automatically "entitled" to pay increases, promotions or even your job...even if you perform well.

Circumstances will keep changing. The best thing you can do is constantly upgrade your skills, stay flexible, and never con yourself into thinking that your employer is supposed to protect YOUR future.

The era of entitlement is ending and frankly, it’s overdue. Instead of relying on your "rights," take personal responsibility for your career.

Put your faith in the future...and in yourself. Embrace change, and develop the work habits you need for job success in the Information Age.

"It's a question of whether we're going to go forward into the future, or past to the back." -former Vice President Dan Quayle