April 23, 2008
I have been out of work more than once in my life, so I can empathize with those who have lost jobs in this economic downturn. Some of the unemployed were interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. They seemed to have a common theme. They standby watching as the jobs go away instead of taking a pro-active approach.
The days of working for one company all your life, getting regular raises, a pension and gold watch at retirement are over. That is the 20th century.
In Spencer Johnson’s best-selling business book, “Who Moved My Cheese,” there is the story of three mice who make different decisions when the cheese they’ve been getting for years at the same cheese station stops. One immediately leaves to hunt for new cheese. The second stays put, thinking the cheese will come back because it always has. The third mouse vacillates between following the first mouse and staying behind.
That is a parable for today. We can’t expect to hold the same job forever and must be ready, trained and educated to do something else if one job ends. That’s work in the 21st century.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.