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Formal Employment is a Myth


Over the last few weeks, I have been inundated with phone calls and emails from friends and colleagues, most of whom have lost their jobs because of
‘the economy.Barring a few exceptions, I believe that most Of them were worthy performers with commendable capabilities. Each of them had some worthy skills and unique talents. It was poignant, however, when I saw them live a sense of amputated existence – in their minds and spirits.

This note I dedicate to them and many others like them.

A formal employment give, or at least is supposed to give, three things:

  1. Job security
  2. A sense of identity with a name card with a title and a company name
  3. Monthly cash flow to sustain living expenses and to create assets.

1. Job security: The closure of Lehman and lay-offs by GM, Microsoft, and IBM only question the same hypothesis of Job Security in salaried jobs today.

2. Identity: a name card and title give us a sense of social status. Why would you not achieve the same if you start your own company and become the CEO or consultant? You have just given yourself a title and a job scope, which you have always wanted.

The other aspect of identity is the “company brand” or “revenues” of the company. Think about it – these top Wall Street banks just crumbled. General Motors and Chryslers reported pathetic performance; they could not get a single act right. You sure are better than those CEOs. At least you did *not* depreciate public money. In your evaluation, your worth needs to be better than what you think by being an appendage to someone else’s.

3. Monthly cash flow is the most rational reasoning and has a practical impact. We all need money to run our homes, eat food, pay rent and pay for children’s education. If we were to calculate these with a level of practicality – go back and check our current bank reserves and re-prioritize. I would reckon that most people in middle and senior management should be well off. In most cases, we can live well, without a job for 5-20 years, with a reasonably good lifestyle. Does that give you some confidence? I suggest you do this exercise and think about it. We are more prosperous than we believe, and we are far more capable than we think we are.

Disclaimer:

The above view assumes that the ones who are laid off or made redundant are good performers and have enough capability in their respective fields. It is presupposed that they have an intellect and potential which helped them in delivering success in their earlier jobs.

Needless to say, if I were the those good-for-nothing or someone who just counted the monthly pay checks into the bank without any performance or capability, then they were plain lucky to have been employed in the first place.

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