Sunday, December 16, 2007

No Resting On Laurels Anymore

When I started my career, it seemed that outstanding work achievements gave me the opportunity to relax and bask in the glory, at least for a short time. New products would have two to three years of market leadership, and product upgrades would have one to two years of market share growth before competition responded significantly. But that has all changed. Nowadays, it seems that competition catches up within six months, if not immediately. So there is not as much time available to celebrate and enjoy one's accomplishment. In my company, it seemed we were on to the next project before the current one was completed.

While I think this phenomenon has been great for the consumer, I think it has been tough on workers and will even be tougher on our children when they begin working. As a consumer, I benefit from competition, e.g. lower prices and better quality. As an employee, I get caught up working longer and harder. I remember getting ahead involved coming in 1/2 hour earlier and staying 1/2 hour later. Now it's working at least 2-4 hours more per day, including at home and on weekends. 24 X 7 is becoming the norm and is no longer the exception. Even for children, I see more demanding standard in order for them to succeed. For example, in many sports, I see children practicing year round to be able to make the cut for a team.

It's the way of the world today. A competitive advantage is needed to be sustainably successful, often meaning more hours, more training, and more contributions. There just isn't any time to rest on one's laurels anymore.

For more on New Beginnings, check back Sundays for a new segment.

This is not financial or career advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

1 comment:

ManOnaMission said...

Now this is the truth! I feel like I've been running on the same treadmill for 10 years, but every year somebody turns the speed up a few miles per hour. I have to run faster and faster just to keep from going backwards.