I was once requested to “seek other opportunities” because my “services were no longer required”. Whoa! In just a couple of weeks, my world then was crumbling all around me. Angry and dejected, I wallowed in self-pity until I came face-to-face with starvation and an angry landlord.
Hey, I am confiding in you. This is the point at which you simply wish you could have passed me a tissue. Never mind that you’re reading about this on a national daily or why I was out of work to begin with.
Like most excited young adults starting out, I believed two huge lies modern life feeds us the minute we set foot in the school system. Most of us are raised to virtually believe in school degrees. Go to school, earn a degree and you’ll get a good job.
While I have every respect for the knowledge and a certain socialisation school exposes us to, we are all too aware of thousands of brilliant Kenyans walking the streets with degrees in hand, and no job.
What happened? Praxis ... these poor souls integrated their belief with their behaviour. Unfortunately, they believed a lie. They believed that getting an education was getting a degree, diploma or certificate. That’s not true.
Praxis is the integration of belief with behaviour. Simply put, walking our talk. We attain this when our beliefs and actions are in honest productive alignment.
This is a huge idea. Understanding praxis positions us to achieve any result we choose because possibility, power and profit are within our reach — all of us. Our current circumstances are results of our previous actions. They are results of our historical actions. This means that they are not a measure of the circumstances that we are capable of creating for ourselves tomorrow.
My devastation at being jobless stemmed from believing in yet another lie that most corporations worldwide tell us: “Give us loyalty and we will give you security.” Like a sheep, I blindly followed the millions of people into the workforce without analysing the offer being presented.
Had I or the other millions of people taken time to carefully study the promise, we would have realised that no company in the world could give a person security regardless of the level of our service or loyalty. Security, real security, comes from within us. If you don’t have it inside of you, you simply don’t have it.
Speak with any of the thousands of victims of layoffs, downsizing, right-sizing or re-engineering, re-whatever-it-is.... They were loyal and thought they were secure. Many are resentful, bitter and blaming someone.
Now, we know that blame is unproductive, regardless of justification. In most cases, employers do the only thing they can. We are all responsible for where we are and what we are experiencing. If your results aren’t pleasing, examine your thinking to see if it is integrated with your behaviour.
The promise that most corporations previously made was not viable. Smart ones now promise: “Give us performance and we give you opportunity for growth and development”. Continued performance = continued growth = sustainability and, therefore, security.
The permanent and pensionable status is no longer viable.
You’ve got to walk the talk you gave at your interview.