Long-term Contracts- the Dodo of the Employment World?


In a recent Forbes article, Chess Media co-founder Jacob Morgan states his unequivocal belief in long term employment being a thing of the past ‘120% dead’ according to Morgan. He notes:

‘A few decades ago there was an implicit contract between employees and the organizations they worked for.  As an employee, you would be loyal and committed to the organization you worked for – giving it your labour and your attention.  In exchange that organization would take care of you for life’

Indeed, this arrangement meant that workers would take for granted the fact that they would receive a pension from their employer with which to fund their retirement.

Fast-forward to the ‘Credit Crunch’ and the recession which followed, and we see a key turning point in the history of employment worldwide. However, there are other factors which have been influential in hammering the nail in long-term employment’s coffin. Just a few are increased globalisation, increased instability in the workplace, new loyalties and changing expectations (especially in younger employees of the millennial generation).

Morgan admits that although there are still companies who seek out long-term employees, they are essentially a ‘rare and dying breed’, relics from a former period of history.

It is helpful to view changing patterns in employment as the result of a process of evolutionary adaptation, just like that which occurs in the animal kingdom, resulting in the survival of more efficient species over the others. Take the dodo as an example. A flightless bird, dodos could not survive in their isolated habit on the island of Mauritius after the arrival of Dutch settlers, who were forced to rely on the dodo for meat. Within around 30 years, the dodo was a goner. Arguably, the plight of the dodo is comparable to that of long-term employment, which Morgan states ‘ain’t coming back…ever’.

These are the changes which have occurred, and continue to alter the way we find employment. Furthermore, the way we view employment is in a state of flux.

More than anything, the world moves at a faster pace than it did twenty years ago. Of course there are advantages and disadvantages to this shift, but ultimately, there are many positive benefits for employers and workers, and so it is important to be able to adapt effectively, or else be hunted to extinction by more efficient competitors!

See also Dinosaurs of the 9-5 World, the End is Nigh!


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