You have worked hard to get to your executive position. You have achieved a level of success you would like to sustain. You need several years of things going right to achieve your family goals.
You are also wise enough to know bad things can happen. Bad things happen to good people. You’ve seen it happen to others. It’s always hard to forecast when something bad will happen.
On a good day, work passes easily and you don’t worry. Fun plans for the weekend can be distracting in the short run. Having a great family reinforces all of the reasons to stay positive.
Every so often something happens that reminds you how fragile your situation is. If your situation at work changes you will disappoint all of those loved ones who depend on you. Things can go badly very quickly.
You are responsible for others and your finances are tenuous. Expectations of your lifestyle have been built that need to be maintained. The financial gravity of a loss of employment would be devastating.
Why Your Job is Threatened
Taylor Pearson describes the new employment paradigm in his essay, “The First Job Dilemma (Or Welcome to The Hyper-Meritocracy).” Pearson argues that things like globalization and the commoditization of education make it hard for those new to the workplace. He agrees the same forces apply to senior corporate managers:
“The deal companies and employees used to make in the day of “the organization man” (and some still do) was that they paid you well straight out the gate and took a loss on you for the first five years of your career. The implicit promise was that you were going to be there for 20-40 years and generate a lot of value towards the middle and end of that period, So, over the course of your career, the company would make back their money.”
In today’s corporate world you need to deliver ROI. Companies are no longer willing to take the historical loss Pearson describes, even for a short time. With weak economic growth companies are in constant need to manage expenses, or the level of “I”.
Everyone runs the risk of being displaced by a younger and less expensive version of himself or herself.
Job Insecurity Fear Can Be Crippling
The fear I hear from co-workers most often is about their bonus. This is one of those false negatives as at least they got a bonus. Things continue as “normal”.
Older employees rarely speak about the fear of growing older. Doing so is admitting you are past your prime. Showing this fear can create a self-fulfilling prophecy of perception and unemployment.
The fear only a very few really see coming is the loss of a job. Rarely are employees self-aware and realize this could happen to them. This shakes up co-workers for an extended period of time before things are normal again.
The fear of losing face closely follows losing a job. As a senior corporate executive a pink slip is like a “Scarlet Letter”. Feeling shame for losing a job is the direct result of personal investment in a career. If you bump into someone who just lost their job, you can see shame in their eyes.
The fear of failing your family is the pinnacle of job loss. Spouses and children’s lives are changed. Worse than that is the change in their perspective of you. You have let them down and everyone knows.
Everyone handles his or her fears differently. Most people suffer in silence. Most bear their burdens alone.
Expressing to your co-workers or loved ones your fears is difficult on many levels.
Co-workers are not necessarily close personal friends. Co-workers may not warrant your confidence. Co-workers may have their own agendas or issues.
Spouses may not understand the complexities of the corporate world. Spouses may be heavily invested in the status quo of a large house, a social position, or a country club membership. Your family would likely prefer their life was it is today and not comprehend your inner fears.
Being unable to address your fears will paralyze you. It may cause you to change your demeanor at home and at work. It can lead you on a very dark downward spiral.
Take Action and Create A Plan[bctt tweet=”The power of planning can overcome any fear.” username=”retirementrehab”] Talking about this with like-minded individuals can reinforce your strategy and provide peace of mind. By design you can deal with bad outcomes before they happen.
Presume you can’t control all of the macro and micro variables of your employment. Set in motion a way to have an optimal fall back in case you lose your job. If bad stuff happens, you’ll be ready to pivot and take advantage.
Make sure you address:
- Your current expense run rate
- Your funds needed to sustain 2 years without work
- Ways to earn income away from your job
- A conversation you can have with your friends and family if you lose your job
- A detailed walk through of what you will do when you lose your job
These strategies can be tackled one at a time. Make the commitment to make a plan. Get into a productive conversation with people like you.
Planning and Talking are the Antidotes to relieve the fear that comes from job insecurity.
Create certainty for your own situation. Peace of mind is a wonderful foundation for making great things happen.
I have spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars researching the plan I have outlined. I have developed resources to tackle many of the obvious questions.
It’s really that easy to make a change in your life.
My most valuable advice has come from my mentors as they speak from true experience. I’m happy to share our collective wisdom with you. Join us here and get the help you need starting today.
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Ian Bond is a private banking senior executive with over three decades of experience in wealth and asset management with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. He has built major businesses on four continents.
Despite his professional responsibility for assets over $100B and revenues over $1B, after the 2008 crash Ian was personally going broke. Within five years he destroyed his debt, became an expat in 2014, and built multiple streams of income to fund his imminent retirement. Ian is also the founder of MyRetirementRehab.me created to help other executives and professionals rehabilitate their finances and make a prosperous, enduring retirement a reality.