VOL. 130 | NO. 65 | Friday, April 3, 2015
Business Means Business
By Angela Copeland
Over the past 30 years, one thing is for sure. Business has changed. In fact, the change has been so dramatic that it’s become somewhat of a generational issue.
Whereas past generations diligently worked at a job for 20-plus years until retirement, today’s workforce would often be foolish if they tried this approach. Changing positions every three to five years has become a natural and necessary part of career progression. It’s how many workers diversify their experience, get promotions and increase their salaries. This movement also provides long-term stability.
You may wonder what has changed. Well, for starters, many companies don’t look at business as a personal matter. It’s business. They’re in business to make a profit in any way possible. At times, this can negatively impact their employees.
Companies often give minimal salary increases each year, and when a department isn’t making enough money, they downsize. This is part of the reason I discourage you from seeking a position just to “get your foot in the door.” Look for something that adds value to you now, both financially and in terms of experience.
Unfortunately, the change in today’s business thinking doesn’t always make its way into our subconscious. To an employee, work is personal. If you know you’re doing good work, you will be compensated fairly and won’t be at risk for losing your job. If you treat your boss with respect, they will treat you with the same courtesy. If you’re committed to the company, they’ll be committed to you, right? Not always.
Big company layoffs are a very common way of restructuring. It’s no longer surprising to see a big-name organization displacing thousands of workers. Many of those who find themselves without a job were just that: loyal, hardworking and committed.
If you’re emotionally connected to your job, acknowledge it. Be aware that your company may not be as attached to you as you are to them. They may not always give you the raise you feel you deserve. And if your boss were to leave or the organization were to go through a downturn, you could still find yourself without a job.
Now, I’m not discouraging you from doing your best. But it is important to realize that business is business. As such, continue to network and to keep an eye out for new opportunities.
When it comes to interviewing for a new job, the same rules apply. Candidates will occasionally say, “I’m not certain if I should allow the company to pay to fly me to their offices for an interview. I’m not 100 percent sure about them. I would hate to waste their money.”
If you know you would never accept a job, that’s one thing. But if you don’t have enough information yet to make a decision, go. It doesn’t mean you have to accept an offer. After all, the company isn’t sure about you yet either. That’s why they’re interviewing you. Because in the end, business means business.
Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.