Anyone who talks to me about their current corporate career will likely have heard me utter—likely innumerable times—my quintessential thought about staying in one place too long, “You’re not going to retire from there.”
Truth of the matter is that there are very few, if any, corporations that should be giving away gold watches to long, long, long term employees.
In my opinion, it’s not good for the employee or the corporation. Plain and simple.
Now, hold that thought. I’m going to take you somewhere else for a second. And then I’m going to come back here. It will seem completely disjointed. But I promise to bring it back around.
Know one of things I appreciated most about college? It was a finite experience. Better yet, it was defined as a finite experience.
I knew, going in, that I was expected to complete my work in about four years. I knew that if I was able to successfully meet the set objectives by the end of that period, I would receive a valuable piece of paper as proof that I had successfully completed the effort.
No surprises. Everything was set from day one: my time of hiring, my vesting period, my goals, and my time of firing.
And I believe that part of the reason that I continue to have a very strong relationship with my alma mater is because of this open communication. This honest communication.
So, given this little piece of information. Let’s go back to the first scenario.
If I’m not going to retire from there. And staying somewhere forever isn’t good for the employee or the business. Then wouldn’t it be nice if part of my hiring also included a specific time at which I would be fired?
I mean, if I’m working in a set period, with set goals? Just like college?
Maybe it’s 18 months. Maybe it’s 2 years.
But on my firing date, I would be let go, fully vested.
I would be required to be away from the company for at least one month. After which, I would be allowed to reapply for my former position, if I wanted.
If I was truly the best candidate, I could get rehired for another period. If not? Too bad.
Maybe there is another position available at the company for which I am better suited. Maybe it’s just better that we part ways.
Point being: current hiring practices are predicated on an outright lie. That lie being that the company expects you to work in the job for which they are hiring you, forever. When in actuality, you know you’re not going to like the job forever. And, in reality, the company expects you to stay in that job just as long as it is convenient for them to have you there. When it’s no longer convenient for the company, they will fire you. Despite any promises made to the contrary.
Lies, lies, and more damned lies.
So why not tell the truth? This is a finite relationship. During which time, the business would like to have the best you have to offer. And the employee will be justly compensated for contributing said effort to the company.
Doesn’t that make more sense?
If you hire me, let me know when you’re going to fire me.