Nor is it certain! There are things we do not control. The economy tilts and jobs are lost, new opportunities arise, there are natural disasters that devastate communities, new life enters our families, we lose loved ones. These things will continue to happen.
In my work I have some who come to me looking for a ‘permanent position’ and they seem disappointed when I tell them there isn’t one. The only permanent position is death! I still meet employers who insist they have permanent positions. Employment is at the mercy of the economy and marketplace and business needs to flow with them to survive.
My own path as an example:
- I started working for the provincial government as a cartographic draftsman.
- Seeing no opportunity for advancement I moved into the forest industry.
- It took me away from the geographic area that I loved (choices).
- After three years I managed to create a new position back in my home town with the same company.
- After four years voluntold I was moving to the position of Administration Manager due to a hiring freeze as I was the only supervisor they could free up.
- Steep learning curve, I also took on the role as Personnel Manager.
- Tilted windmills and, through a management audit, had us moved to divisional status in the company. While the right thing to do, it meant leaving my position as Admin Manager as it required an accounting designation.
- Moved to Personnel and Facility Manager, and Purchasing.
- Recession hit, I was handed a box and told to gather my stuff, I had an hour until I would be escorted from the building.
- I put out five hundred resumes across Canada, had only thirteen acknowledgements and no interviews.
- I formed a company doing painting, decorating, and custom woodwork (my hobbies) and, although it kept the wolf from the door, it ruined my hobby.
- After 2 ½ years, out of the blue I had a call from my former employer wanting a draftsman for two weeks. The two weeks turned into fifteen years.
- Within six months I was running the cartographic department and did so for the next six years.
- Then computerization hit the mapping industry! The job no longer appealed to me.
- As luck would have it, I was offered a position back in Human Resources. This was an amazing ride and the last eighteen months were the highlight of my career with the company.
- Then a takeover! I was given the golden handshake after six months with the new company.
- I formed a company doing Human Resources and work with small business.
- I struggled along with this for a couple of years then fell into work doing employment consulting part-time and loved it.
- The contract ended and I found part-time counselling work with another firm.
- After a month on the job, bad medical news, I needed an operation. Although the recovery was quick it shook me to the core and made me look inward as to where I was and what I wanted.
- I made the decision to shut down the consulting and set about finding more full-time work.
- Had two offers and wound up with a full-time employment counselling position.
- I formed another HR company as a side hustle as I still needed somehow to connect to the corporate arena but this time making sure that I chose the market better.
It is working, I am content. Not the path I envisioned so many years before but I have enjoyed the journey. Uncertainty played a role but I got to direct the result. I’m sure that looking at your own timeline of work you can see the uncertainty as well.
Life is not a straight line, there are no permanent jobs, no-one is indispensable, and in the end, we are all self-employed whether we are working for someone or not!
Be responsible for your own great work! Only you can ensure it is what you need to do.