Unemployment is 2.5%, Corporate Job Churn is 75%

By Scot Herrick | Cube Rules Commentary

Jul 06

In a world where the unemployment rate is 2.5% in some states, why is there so much insecurity about our jobs?

Well, if you work in cubes, I think you know the answer to that without knowing the answer. But to those who tout the great economy and point to the unemployment rate as proof-positive of how great things are going, let me offer a few reasons why the economy isn’t so great for cubicle warriors:

Company management will lay us off in a heartbeat to meet cost objectives. Whether it is to meet budgetary targets or meet objectives of off-shoring, there is no position that is safe.

Managers change. Often. In my career, save one manager, I had a different manager every 18-months on average. That meant I never had a review from the same manager for two years in a row. It meant that I had to get used to a new management style every year. It meant new and different objectives every year. Hard to build consistency in a job when things constantly change.

Upper management changes often. And the way to show effectiveness right away: reorganize the place to fix the problem the person was hired for to fix.

My personal view is that every person in the company gets a new manager once every two years. I might be wrong (anyone have a study?), but that seems to be pretty close.

  • New style.
  • New objectives.
  • New Mission.
  • New Vision.

And six months to get it rolling at which point we start over again.

Sure, the unemployment rate is 2.5% where I live. But the Corporate Churn Rate is 75%. Which number do you think has a bigger impact on your life?

Hat tip to Jason Alba at Jibber Jobber for inspiring this post. May more people sign up for his service!

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

  • Jason Alba says:

    Scot, this is a very interesting perspective you bring into the posts I did today and yesterday on the unemployment rate.

    Very early on JibberJobber was defined as a job search tool. But how many people are moving up, down or sideways within one company… and aren’t the same skills needed for those movements (networking, branding, elevator pitches, relationships, targets, etc.)?

    That’s why I rebranded JibberJobber as a career toolset, not a job search tool. This post brings that to light better than anything I’ve seen written so far.

    The whole point is, be concerned about your career. Be nimble, be prepared, and don’t get too settled. Change happens, if you prepare and practice certain things each day you can be more in-charge of your career/future. Not being prepared, not having a plan, etc. is a recipe for disaster. I know – I’ve been there!

    Jason Alba
    CEO – JibberJobber.com
    :: self-serve career management ::

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Perhaps it is just my perspective, but my perspective is based upon 30-years working for Fortune 100 companies. It’s much harder now to have the work you do be in the area you want it to be in given all the corporate reorganizations that happen.

    Moving into a new career through a reorganization happens, like it or not. Then the issue is stay employed at the company you know versus leaving to another company where you can get back on the career track you’ve got.

    But these same things happen in every (large) company, so how can it be worth the risk of moving?

    It’s a conundrum.

    For those who read this blog, I’d love to know if it is the same thing in smaller companies. I suspect not as smaller companies merge with larger ones, but I don’t have the data. What about companies in the 2,000 to 5,000 employee size versus 50,000+ that I’ve worked in for my life?

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