Once upon a time there was security…
There was a time, in the not too distant past, where a job for life was a given. You worked for one company or organisation, often coming in at the bottom, and you worked your way up. The company or organisation was loyal to you. And you to them. And in return for your loyalty, they looked after you. You had job security, a regular paycheck, promotional opportunities, a nice pension fund at the end of 30 odd years.
In the last decade, particularly since the 2008 global financial crisis, there is no guarantee of company loyalty anymore. Big business—and small ones—are cutting costs, and usually this means shedding staff. Employees are being let go in record numbers.
Security? There is no such thing. It could all be gone in a heart-beat tomorrow. Job, house, your life.
And yet, many of us forget this lesson because we are caught up in our present and worrying about the future: paying bills, the latest gadgets, school fees, mortgages. We are caught up in the spin cycle of western expectations. I notice, though, that notions about what constitutes success are starting to be redefined.
To acknowledge these kinds of lessons, to learn from our mistakes and our failures—however hurtful and unintentional—is part of life’s journey.
Failure is a chance for life
Oh, how I’ve failed. And I have no doubt I will fail again.
When I moved on from Country Road, I was hoping to set up a life based in Bali. Nothing worked, though. There were all kinds of complications around family and finances. Ill health was an issue. It seemed like it wasn’t meant to be.
But sitting in my empty apartment overlooking the Brisbane River, I listened to Cathy Freeman run the race of her life in the 2000 Olympics. Alone in a new city, my life revolved around my new job at The Colorado Group.
My heart ached for Bali, so this adjustment was not an easy one for me.
I knew I had to take a leap of faith—even if failure was an outcome—and trust that it would be ok.
And I did. And it was.
Even though it hasn’t been easy. Isn’t easy.
But I took a chance and survived, and I learned a few lessons about failure along the way.
Fail fast and move on.