Recently I sat down with a client I worked with two years ago for tea and to catch up. It was a Saturday afternoon, the day before spent moving into the new Kingpin Social workspace. Throughout the day I was definitely excited to catch-up with him. His bootcamp back in the day taught me a lot. He was the first student I worked with who was 40+.
Prior to taking the bootcamp, my student had been married for twelve years and only recently divorced. Needless to say, he is much more experienced in the long-term dating scene than I am. And that’s one of the first things I told him on bootcamp: “You were married for twelve years. You know much more about relationships than I do, but I know I will be able to see where you are at and the issues you’ve been having and help you out.”
That’s exactly what happened. Over the course of the next three days we worked through his issues, and he left with a newfound energy towards meeting people. Working with my first client 40+ is an experience I will never forget.
Sitting down for tea with my client made my day. He walked into Starbucks on 15th avenue downtown glowing. We took our seats and I immediately asked him to tell me everything that’s been going on. The first thing out of his mouth is:
“Well, I got laid off my job…” In my head I’m thinking, “ohhh fuck”, until he finishes his sentence “…best fucking thing that’s ever happened to me.” Phew! Being an entrepreneur myself, I obviously have a significant interest in the journey of other entrepreneurs and the struggles we all face at the beginning. Deciding to quit your job and go off on your own brings forth many inner demons that you need to face head on or risk resorting to plan bs and other silly gimmicks that lead you to second guess and be filled with self-doubt.
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I was blessed with a father who is also an entrepreneur. From the moment I was born I have been taught to be independent and to work my ass off if I want to be successful. My Father is a great example of someone who came from little to become successful by working harder than the next guy. Throughout my whole life he has taught me to follow in his footsteps and work my balls off.
The day before moving into the new Kingpin Social workspace, Mikey B, one of my new roommates and I got into a discussion about work ethic and how, inspired by my Father, I am determined to work even harder in this new house. Every time I sign a new lease for a property, I view it as the beginning of a new chapter in my life, and set new goals and ambitions accordingly. Work ethic is without a doubt one of the qualities I will be working on that much harder for the next year, as I progress through the lease I just signed.
During Mikey B and I’s conversation, I went on to tell him a story my uncle told me about my Father, and how he would get up at 4am to be at work for 4:30am, to get in an extra hour or two before the rest of his co-workers show up. My uncle told me that the reason my Dad is successful is because he works harder than everybody else. It’s that simple. Hearing this story, I could see a fire light up in Mikey B. The following day he posted this on his status:
“What makes you successful is not just how hard you work but how long you can keep that hard work up more than the next guy in line. If your co-workers are at work for 10am, be there for 8 or 9.”
The status had received a few comments, so I scrolled down to read them.
Guy: Join a union. Then it doesn’t make a difference if the next guy in line is Jesus Christ himself.
Mikey B: That depends on your definition of successful.
Guy: I define successful as a well paying job with a high level of job security and good benefits.
My jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe this guys comments. Join a union? I’m good. What an idiot. Job security? What job security? Frustrated I closed Facebook down and went on with my day. Later that day I was sitting down for tea with my client, who had just finished telling me how he got laid off and it was the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Naturally the conversation turns to job security as I relay the story from earlier to my client. We had a great time discussing this topic.
Job Security is an Illusion
Job security doesn’t exist. It’s a state of mind. At the end of the day, the only person you can depend on for security of any kind is yourself. There are countless horror stories you can find online, of employees with twenty or more years with a company being laid off and losing everything.
Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career! ~ E. Nightingale
Sure, someone could argue that being a part of a Union gives you job security, in which case, maybe you’re right. But what’s the price you put on yourself? Your time? Your effort? Should you earn the same amount as the next person… even if you work harder OR work better? Do you really not think a major issue with today’s Education system is having a teachers union? Does being a part of a union motivate you to do quality work? Remember I’m saying this as a teacher myself. There’s absolutely no way I could see myself, as a teacher, doing a quality job if I had absolute security that no matter the quality of work I put forth, I would be paid the same as the next guy and it would be incredibly difficult for me to lose my job. Ya right.
How You Actually Get Job Security
Instead of focusing on joining a union, trading your worth for “security”, you should work on relevant skills. Having relevant skillsets in your arsenal means you will never run out of work. Think about it like this: Do you think as someone who teaches Social Dynamics I am concerned about losing my job? Not at all as long as I do a good job. I am employed by the people, not the system. Social skills will never go out of business. They will always be necessary.
Let me ask you a question: In the past two thousand years, how much has technology changed? Quite a bit, wouldn’t you agree? Ok, what about people? In the last two thousand years, how much have people changed? Wouldn’t you agree that answer: is not much? Throughout all the years, people haven’t changed much at all. So if you are able to develop relevant skills that people need and have always needed, there’s the job security you are looking for.
But that’s not all. As you focus on obtaining relevant skills, you should also focus on expanding your social network. Having a social network will also keep you employed. “It’s not what you know it’s who you know.” If you know people who know people, finding a job won’t be very difficult. Maybe that can even be your job. You just know a bunch of people and can refer your network amongst each other, grabbing referral cuts along the way.
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” -Aristotle
What do you think? Do you agree? Are you currently focusing on developing relevant skills and your social network? Are you passionate about your job? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s talk about this. It’s too important of a topic to stand on the sidelines.