I have been visiting a lot of business blogs lately and I am amazed at the panoramic breadth of topics covered. Almost every aspect of business organization, motivation, and leadership is analysed exhaustively. Most business blogs focus on those things that will bring success to an organization. Few target the career aspects or the personal cost of being an employee.
Although Ripples occasionally gets listed as a business blog, my primary intention in discussing business matters is to provide insight on the hidden costs and benefits of working for a living and how to optimize the results for yourself. In the end, the most important thing about your work is whether it actually helps you to live a more meaningful life.
I truly believe that the work opportunities of the future will become both more distributed and more concentrated. There may be many millions working remotely or in small enterprises, but there will be many more laboring at workstations in vast hives at a machine-paced rhythm.
This will place even more of a premium on useful education. Failing
to learn useful skills will result in relegation to the mills of the
future or to minimum wage status. The future will go to those
determined enough to teach themselves skills which will enable them to
choose a career path that is right for them. College is not the only
alternative, but it can be a door opener.
A career path generally follows a curve. You starts out with
promise, have a few false starts, but if you persist, you finally reach
a point where you enjoy a modicum of success. Then you eventually fall
out of favor, either with your management, the Board of Directors, or
with stockholders, and you go off to lick your wounds and try again. It
doesn’t matter whether it is your fault or not, you reach a point where
your interests and management’s are no longer in alignment.
Some of you will repeat this cycle many times before finally hitting
the wall. At this point, you either reinvent yourself or somebody does
it for you. When it becomes evident that you are no longer in demand as
an executive, or as a designer, or a system analyst, or as a marketing
manager, you will need to find work as something else.
Like it or not, there eventually comes a time when your convoluted
career curve finally tops out and goes into gentle descent or sudden
Very few employees go happily off into the sunset with a severance
package or a pension. Most will find themselves facing hard decisions
tht will require a lot of soul-searching. Get ready now for eventual
It will mean a change in lifestyle, but it may be easier than you
expect. The important thing to keep in mind is that it will happen to
you and you have the power to make it work if you start preparing now.
There is life after corporate employment. You just have to be ready for
Living a meaningful life includes planning for your future as well as enjoying life as it happens.