The American worker.
We all fall into this category when the realities of life require a steady income to pay for the necessities and luxuries our existence demands.
My grandfather was a skilled machinist – highly regarded at his place of employment for his personal character, his unending abilities and unwavering commitment. He found true fulfillment in his occupation, which is what kept him with the same company for almost four decades – an unfathomable duration for many of us to comprehend today.
I remember asking him once how he could work at the same place for so long. His answer was simple: “When it doesn’t feel like you’re going to work it’s easy. When people respect you and treat you fairly that makes all the difference.”
My grandfather, and many others surrounding his generation, were fortunate to work for organizations who truly valued their employees – who took the time to get to know each and every one of them as though they were family. In short, they treasured their greatest tool for achieving success in the market – their people.
But today the American worker stays at their job an average of 5.4 years according to research from the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute in 2012. That’s a far cry from people like my grandfather.
While I understand there are many reasons for leaving one job for another, the more I talk with people in various industries the more I understand the short tenure statistic.
Employers no longer give workers a viable reason to stay.
Morale is low, growth opportunities are non-existent, wages are held down while worker expectations only continue to go up. There’s often fierce competitiveness to combat and sadly favoritism and bullying are a very real, all too familiar practice in many companies across the US landscape.
Not very good reasons to remain with any company for an extended period of time.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that, “Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
If getting up on any given work day brings about more anxiety than happiness, maybe your 5.4 years are up. Maybe it’s time you reexamine what “the joy of achievement” really means to you and then go out and find it.