Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Til Death Do Us Part" Doesn’t Exist In A Professional Relationship”

"Til Death Do Us Part" Doesn’t Exist
A couple of weeks ago I read an article posted by Andrés Pérez Ortega in which I first came across the word "job-dependant" and with it, Andrés was referring to the widespread practice among professionals nowadays whom hope to establish a dependency relationship with the company offering them a decent job opportunity, based on the premise (a wrong one from my professional point of view) that there must be a mutual and long-term commitment between the company hiring and the  professional being hired.

A commitment implying the company will "guarantee" the employee's workplace, as long as it maintains an outstanding performance in carrying out the tasks for which the company is paying it a salary and offering additional benefits.

It is reasonable to believe any company will be interested in retaining an employee who has an outstanding performance, and it is also reasonable to believe a high-performing professional would aspire to receive from its employer a long term professional opportunity.

Yes, it is definitely reasonable, but in no way implies an obligation on either side. I do think that expecting such a long term commitment between the employer and its employees is a mistaken premise held by many professionals because they continue to feed a distorted concept of what a labour relationship truly is.

As always, whenever I make such an statement, I’ll explain myself.

An employment relationship starts up being a business relationship.

When any business is looking to hire a professional to occupy a certain position, it really means they’re looking for a person who has a number of personal and academic qualifications which guarantees it will be able to perform its job with an outstanding performance, therefore assisting the company in achieving its proposed goals and moving forward.

The company is then ready to offer the successful candidate a certain amount of money in exchange for its professional services.

As you can see, it is a commercial exchange: the company has the need to fill a particular area and searches for a product, (sorry!!), I mean a professional who has the ability to meet and fulfill such need. In return, the company is willing to pay a certain amount of money.

A company that hires you is really a customer who decided to buy the product you offer.

If you are the person who, professionally and personally, has complete credentials for the position, then they can establish a professional relationship with you.

If you don’t, they do not have any obligation even to take you into consideration, in the same way no person is obligated to purchase a product which is not going to help them meet their needs.

One thing leads to the next one: No employment relationship is to last forever

And here I’m going back to the title I gave to this post: "Till death do us part" does not exist, and should not exist, in any employment or professional relationship. Why?

Because there are two conditions that must be met on such relationships: On one side there must be a professional who is having an outstanding performance and is helping the company achieve its objectives. On the other side there must be a company that continues to have a need to fulfill, and is also offering any professional who satisfies this need money and benefits according to professional qualifications required and expected performance.

Would you still buy a product you no longer need? Would you continue to do business with a non-paying customer?

The reasoning is simple: when a product is no longer useful for what it's supposed to be useful, then it ceases to be a viable purchase option and there is no need to buy it.

Similarly, if you have a product (in this case your professional services) and you’re dealing with a customer (call it “employer” if it makes you happier) that is not willing to pay the price you are asking for, then such customer is not a proper fit for you.

Going back to the situation we are referring to today, if a company has no way to put together a decent offer for your professional services, you have no obligation to commit to it. And even more if it happens to you, as it did to me, the company is no longer honoring their side of the “commitment”, and stopped paying you for no reason.

As you can see, and I do hope you see it now, expecting a professional or business relationship to last "until death do us part" is a bad thing for both sides: the company hiring and the professional being hired.

Why you should fight the "job-dependency"?

Expecting to have a job lasting forever is like trying to have a customer who buys your products for the rest of its life. It is a very comfortable situation on your side but it entails very significant risks for both parties. Why?

It is a comfortable situation for your side because, professionally, it means you no longer need to worry about finding yourself a new job, or going through a new hiring process, or even having to prove your professional value again.

It is a comfortable situation for your side because being sure that every week, every two weeks or every “end of the month” you will receive a certain amount of money, and it is gonna be like that for the rest of your life for sure will give you plenty peace of mind, that’s for sure.

But it is nothing more than a comfortable attitude on your side and, perhaps, a little bit self-defeating. If for a moment you put yourself on the hiring company’s feet and think about the whole thing: Is it the best for us to secure job positions for “a lifetime”? Isn’t it better to secure the positions we truly need, as long as the employee has an outstanding performance or as long as we have the money to pay for what the job is worth?

What if your employer has some other problems and simply can’t guarantee its jobs’ stability? Have you ever thought about it?
In addition to all these things: By relying on a “lifetime” job, you stop being open to new opportunities for professional growth, you no longer have the opportunity to be hired by someone who offers a better value for your services, and you stop looking to the world through the eyes of ambition and begin to nurture in your heart an attitude of conformism.

Is professional conformism what you really want for yourself?

That is, why in the world would you become attached forever to a company that can’t pay the salary you deserve ? Would you be willing to forever do business with a customer who does not have the money to pay what your products are worth?

Who would do that?

Below you’ll find the post I did refer to at the beginning of this one. It was written by Andres Perez. (Sorry, no english version) And the second one is mine and I thought you would find it interesting.

Photo credit: Karen Grigoryan

"No seas empleo-dependiente" by Andrés Pérez Ortega
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