I was listening to a podcast the other day while I was working on a quilt and this woman was talking about her career journey. She described it as a zig zag pattern instead of a clear path to the top where she was now. It wasn’t easy she said but then it also wasn’t her goal to end up where she was today. She simply wanted to survive so she could pay her bills and stay employed. It paid off for her as she was now a top leader in this company having worked up from answering phones some 20 years ago. She is one of the lucky ones perhaps?
Her story resonated with me because I too see my career path as a zig zag scattered with a few craters I’ve fallen into. I have been at the top senior roles and I have taken a step down from that. It’s not as glamorous or easy as it looks at any level, especially the top. The part though that really hit me was she too was simply trying to survive, take care of your financial needs and keep a job. These days there is no right way to do that it seems since so many of the decisions impacting our employment are out of our hands.
The thing is I don’t know that the feeling of insecurity in your job’s future ever goes away at any level you are working. It is not easy to navigate the corporate landscape and stay in front of everything that could impact you. Also, most of the decisions are out of your hands anyway. There is not a simple path to relying on a job for your livelihood and that’s about as honest as it gets. Sometimes we get lucky at least for a while and others we scramble and hustle to keep things going for ourselves.
More than anything I think the corporate environment is one of extreme Hunger Games like sporting where it truly becomes survival of the fittest. Even then something may happen but there really is no such thing as just going to work and doing your job. With the growing number of companies trying to herd people back into the office I think this movement may finally be the event we need to gain back some of our power in this situation too.
The pandemic proved working from home for the major