Renegotiate Your Future

Lifetime employment is a thing of the past — it’s gone. So gone in fact, 20-somethings look at you funny when you even mention the concept.

Today, our ‘forever-and-ever‘ jobs have been replaced by “what have you done for me lately” or even worse, “…who are you and what do you do around here?”

Let’s face it, our professional self-worth is under assault. Our jobs, the thing we do for a third of our waking lives, can be phased out, outsourced or simply left out of the latest reorganization with the brush of an eraser.

Work is a big part of our lives and therefore who we are and if our jobs, our professional contributions, can be so easily brushed away, our self-respect can’t be far behind.

Sure, lifetime employment may not even be desirable by an evermore mobile, evermore virtual society, but what’s taken its place?

Our research indicates–not much.

The NEW DEAL of work-life feels more like a hippie love affair, “let’s not put chains on each other, let’s just hang out as long as it feels good.”

I say, enough is enough, it’s time to renegotiate our future and take charge of our own professional development. In a recent survey, readers gave us some interesting insights, making it clear that organizations have washed their hands of professional development.

Here’s an example. Nearly all respondents reported that they participate in an annual review process BUT 80% also indicated that their leadership development program had no connection to the feedback from their evaluation. In most cases, employees were simply left to pick and choose developmental activities based on interest. Worse yet, as I share these findings with executive leaders around the county, the facts are met with confirming nods.

So there it is… if we want to take charge of our futures,

If we want to insure against indiscriminate and sudden job loss,

If we desire something more from tomorrow than we got today…

Then, we need to create and control our own professional development!

Over the next weeks and months, I’ll be sharing how people across the world are doing just that–living lives that are richer, fuller and more rewarding–without the worry that tomorrow’s opportunities will pass them by.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and questions at

Until next week, STAY CONNECTED!