Some lessons are hard to learn; others hard to remember. There are some definite old and new realities of the workforce and the workplace. Go back a few decades and imagine your favorite Clint Eastwood movie. Clint is riding into town on his trusty horse, what do you see? Blacksmiths, General Store Owners, Saloon Proprietors and, of course, the town Undertaker.
There is a common thread to their careers; they had to manage them on their own. Even a hired gunslinger was 100% responsible for their career path. Clint made it work. These were the original entrepreneurs. As leaders and business owners today we have to help employees today embrace this “old, new” way to manage their careers. We do this by running our companies with flexible approach to getting work done. This is your competitive advantage today; you have one in place now right?
We all know that eventually Clint’s world changed. Cities grew around the Industrial Revolution. People moved to the cities in droves to improve their lot in life. They gave up career control and gained good wages. Over time career path, quality of life, benefits and retirement became perks for this new way to work. And for many, many decades it worked famously — 30 years and the gold watch. It became the American dream. Ask the workforce today and they know they must manage their own careers! The workforce knows that loyalty is a promise that business can no longer live up to. Why? Because people are outliving companies.
What happened to the parental company? The speed of change in business used to be manageable. The world was small. Competition somewhat limited. Then it all changed; the world got smaller, technology makes us faster all of the time. Communication is now instant. Competition? We all know; it is everywhere. We should study history in order to make sense of the present.
As competitive as finding work is today with 6 people for every job there is a real opportunity to think differently about your career.
- Do you have a career agent to help guide you through this new world?
- Are you taking steps to improve your skills?
- Are you thinking like an entrepreneur?
When Clint road through town, each small business owner saw the opportunity in starting their saloon or store. They were in control of their career. Are you?