On the workforce

Back to work today, and things are moving at a rapid pace. It strikes me that in my particular workplace there almost is a frantic-ness associated with “staffing up”. We’ve heard for years how the baby boomers are hogging the “big” jobs and it’s time to make way for the new generation. While now that appears to be happening and it’s a matter of be careful what you wish for.

Years ago, 10 maybe 15 years past, where I work there were jobs that one would aspire to. You’d set your sights on a particular job and build your skill set in all the foundational areas, all to set you up for eventually having the competencies of handling and applying for one of those “big” jobs. You knew your competition, they knew you, you pushed and pushed to be that much better, a better writer, a stronger researcher; a friendly rivalry, and at the end of the day a healthy one.

I’m just not seeing that now. We have people landing those “big” jobs that have little to no corporate track record, no corporate awareness and more alarmingly, with no interpersonal skills. Freshly churned out from whatever academic institution they attended, they arrive full of themselves, determined to change a corporate culture they haven’t even bothered to learn. They want no help, because, in their worldview, the old guard is the source of any and all problems. They push forward and when something derails it isn’t their fault – because they are new; because they didn’t know there were extenuating circumstances, or associated risk, someone should have told them. Not their fault.

Whose fault is it? What’s the obligation of the employee and the employer here? I say if you wanted the big job, then as the employee be prepared to work hard to learn it. As the employer, make sure your new hires understand they don’t operate in a vacuum, they are part of a team with the goal of making the organization look good and function well, not the individual.

I am an observer in this game. My work seldom intersects with these newbies, and so I have the ability to watch and wonder at what is happening. And worry about where we are going. I can retire in as few as three years, and some days when I see the lunacy happening around me, I think three years is an eternity. Then there is the other part of me that says I’d be crazy to consider retiring when there is so much free entertainment around me. Drama, comedy and mystery; I just hope that I don’t find myself adding tragedy to the list.

Any thoughts or experiences to share? Leave them here.

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