Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seniority Is A Myth

I'm not sure where some of these ideas are born, but sometimes human beings have expectations that are completely unreasonable.  Seniority is a myth, and it's one that most people believe wholeheartedly. 

Let's make it clear just what seniority is, seniority is the idea that the duration you have worked for a certain company, has some effect on your standing with such a company, offering you some form of protection above other employees, who don't have seniority.

When I began my quest to learn about the stock market, it solidified for me, the true difference between business and personal.  People don't get the difference.  They think they do, until a situation arises where something is happening to them in a business sense, yet they take it personally.

Let's make something clear.  Business is in business only to make money.  All other reasons to be in a business come after making money.  "But Bangin', I know good businesses..  I've seen them donate to charity.  I've seen others focus solely on using products that don't harm the environment."  I'm sorry, but you have been duped.  They donated to charity, or chose to be environmental, in order to hook you into doing business with them. 

Businesses are not supposed to have morals, and you shouldn't expect them to.  They shouldn't be immoral either.  They should be considered amoral, and all good businesses are.

Why am I blabbing about the difference between business and personal?  The best examples of this failing, are hidden amongst seniority.  I can look at the employee-employer relationship from both sides, without bias.  Which is really difficult because everyone understands taking something personally, and not everyone understands business.

When you first negotiated a wage for your first job, did you also inform the employer that you expected to be employed for the next 50 years?  Did you make sure they were aware that as you got older, and your job skills declined, that they were expected to keep you on regardless?

What most likely happened, is they offered you a wage per hour, and you accepted it.  From there, you would go to work, and they would pay you for each hour on the job.  Basically the moment you get your cheque you are up to date with them, and the employer owes you nothing.

No where is duration of employment ever discussed.  So where does this odd expectation come from?  I can't say for sure completely, but back in the 50's and 60's things kind of were this way.  You would, and could, work your whole work life at one employer.  There was an expectation that all university grads would be guaranteed careers.  Times have changed since then.

I'm here to tell you drop the whole entitlement thing when it comes to your job, and make sure you always have some kind of contingency plan.  Leaning on seniority to keep you safe in this workplace environment is a fool's game. 

You might hear a long time employee, recently fired, say something like, "You can't fire me, I've worked here for 30 years."  The employer could easily fire back, "Yes you have, but I've also paid you for those 30 years."

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