As a veteran of advertising, marketing and communications business I have noticed an unfortunate consequence of changes in the nature of human resources. Companies expect loyalty but increasingly it isn’t a reciprocal expectation. More is asked of fewer individuals. No guarantees.
Increasingly the job life cycle goes in three phases.
1. Being a part of the solution. (S)
2. Being a part of the problem and being a part of the solution. (P/S)
3. Being a part of the problem. (P)
Phase I (S): It generally works like this. As you join an organization you have undoubtedly navigated the employment process, recruitment, assessments and interviews. You get an offer and (hopefully) you are determined to apply your talents to solving problems. You want to make things better. You can see as an outsider, as you study the company, that you can be instrumental in change. You see yourself as part of the solution.
Phase II (P/S): After a while, It could be a year (It could be six months), you realize that the solution is more difficult to obtain than you first imagined. You face the facts that some systemic issues have evolved over time. Rather than make yourself stark raving mad, you conclude that you must work within the system, no matter how dysfunctional. You tell yourself that playing along for a while will allow you to affect change from the inside/out. So essentially you are making peace with being a part of the problem (part of the time) while focusing on being a meaningful change agent – part of the solution (part of the time).
Phase III (P): Like a drug you find that being a part of the system is easier. You feel more secure. You might even admit it. You are fearful and are making decisions based on job security and fitting into a culture.
It’s too bad. Being a part of the solution is more satisfying. It’s really too bad that being part of the problem is safer. But chances are you still aren’t gonna get a gold watch!
Phase I (S) Solution; Phase II (P/S); Phase III (P) Problem.