In today’s August 10, 2010 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, I riff on a question that seems so general that it’s not worth talking about… Why do people wind up losing their jobs every few years?
A reader asks:
I’m a dedicated, loyal employee, and I would do anything for my employer. Why, then, do I lose my job every few years and have a hard time landing a new one?
Here’s the short version of my reply. (You’ve got to subscribe to the weekly newsletter to get the whole story!)
Your problem raises a bigger question that’s relevant to everyone: Why do people take a job, only to find themselves job hunting again so soon?
Some people take a job because it’s offered, not because it’s right. Others take jobs because employers flatter them, not because they’re particularly interested in the company or the job. Lost in the joy of being judged worthy, they forget to judge the job and the company, and to think about whether a job is really the kind of long-term investment they want to make. Relieved to be “off the street” (or impressed at being recruited), they will rationalize a poor choice and accept work that does not satisfy them. Gradually, their morale drops and their performance suffers. The effect is cumulative, and eventually the mismatch becomes glaring. They get fired, laid off, or they quit, and the cycle starts again.
The real question is, Will you choose your next job, or will it choose you?
We all know that people lose their jobs due to the economy. What I’m interested in is the other reasons. The economy will improve, somehow, sometime. But I think today’s question will continue to plague people. So let’s talk about other reasons people lose their jobs and have a hard time finding new ones. It’s not always the economy.