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There Comes a Point in Everyone’s Career When We Discover We Are Disposable

by | Mar 12, 2023 | Startups

I always believed the “we are family” slogan in every 9-5 job.

Later in my career I realized we’re all disposable. This is both sad and bloody inspiring for us all.

3 months pregnant and made redundant

I’ve worked with thousands of people in my career.

I still keep in touch with a few hundred of them. Two weeks ago I got the text message no one wants to get.

“They’re making me redundant. I didn’t bill the client enough hours.”

In industries like consulting humans are treated differently. It’s like a game of musical chairs. If you’re being billed to a client you’re fine. If you’re stuck on the bench or work in sales, as I did, then it’s a different story.

That’s what happened to my old colleague. She had a sales job. Global HQ saw her name in a spreadsheet. There weren’t enough billable hours even though salespeople don’t typically manage projects.

So a guy rang another guy and before she knew it, they were having the “I think you’re gonna get a redundancy” conversation.

This was crazy to think.

She had outperformed every other salesperson in her region. Only two months before they were singing her praises, upgrading her job title, and giving her a big fat bonus check.

Then she found out she was pregnant.

It was a joyous experience and she told her employer. 4 weeks later she was told “soz, we don’t need you anymore.”

Coincidence?

I doubt it. When I heard the story it made me emotional. People don’t deserve to be treated like this. But that’s the modern job market.

The other day she said to me, “I finally figured it out. I’m disposable.”

It happened to me, too

For the first part of my banking career I was an angel.

I did everything right. I wore the suit, used the umbrella with my employer’s name on it, told people at dinner parties how proud I was of where I worked, and went to every town hall meeting with the CEO.

Whatever the CEO said may as well have been the bible.

He could part the seven seas and turn water into wine as far as I was concerned. But several experiences changed me. The first happened eleven months in.

I got called into a room with chocolate cake. Then the door slammed shut. Circles were drawn on a whiteboard (they were our heads).

A cross went through each circle. None of us were left.

All sixteen of us got fired.

Through some miracle, after the fact, I got saved. So I didn’t quite realize I was disposable — yet. Then a few years later I was working a high-flying job bringing tech companies into Australia.

My team of six literally printed money. We made more revenue than a team of 1000+ employees at the same employer.

One afternoon my boss announced he’d be moving on. Within weeks the whole narrative changed. I got told to make a choice. Either find a new job or get a piss-weak redundancy offer.

I found a new job.

That job was awesome. I celebrated hard. It was a job outside of banking in a social media company.

Within 6 months I got fired.

The middle management, which included me, were all sacked for no reason. Cost saving — apparently. I then moved into consulting.

That’s where I discovered the most lifeless inhumane business model ever to exist. Nobody gave an F about you.

You were either being billed or you weren’t. I got pulled into all directions like a Stretch Armstrong doll. The hours were long. The work was soulless.

The only thing the clients wanted was more work for less money.

Every month my boss gave them some extra discount. We called him the discount king for bending over and taking their price-gauging penetration.

As the economy nose-dived due to the 2020 bat virus, everyone had to duck for cover. The big swinging ax d*cks through every department with an ax. It was like the great Black Death plague.

Many didn’t survive the cuts.

I survived but it screwed up my head

At 3 pm one afternoon the guy I worked with was working on a spreadsheet. I was a few seats away from him. The office was empty because of the bat virus.

Me: “What are you doing mate?”

“Working on the next round of cuts?”

Me: “How do you decide who to cut?”

“I don’t. I just look at a few fields of data then mark anyone in red who meets the criteria.”

Me: “Do you talk to any of these people? Do you know who they are?”

“Nah, they just get emails from me. 99% of them I don’t know. The 1% I do know I feel sorry for. But I’m just doing my job.”

This conversation was an eye-opener.

I stayed at this job because I thought I was building a career. But I realized I wasn’t building anything. The career sandcastle could easily be washed away by someone with coroni-rona who accidentally sneezed.

A few months later I quit my job and never returned.

That’s what happens when you finally learn you a disposable piece of garbage to a faceless corporate machine hungry for infinite revenue.

Being disposable is awesome

The whole tone of this article might sound negative.

You might think I’m mad at this reality. But I’m not. I freaking love that anyone with a job is disposable. The mindset shift sets you free.

Once you have your moment and understand in real terms that you’re disposable, you’ll finally:

  • Stop worshipping prestigious executives and their huge egos.
  • Secretly work for multiple employers.
  • Cheat on your job with a side hustle.
  • Unleash your true self on LinkedIn.
  • Take better care of your family.
  • Stop working stupid hours.
  • Make money after hours.
  • Create a backup plan.

Being disposable sets free the nobody gives a crap mindset that can help you not be so romantic about work, and build your own dream instead of someone else’s. Embrace it. Let it take over your life.

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