Nowadays I come to work and the question is “What have you heard?” and “What have you read?” “Has an offer come into buy our company?” “Are we going to get broken up, split up, obliterated?” I am thinking about our jobs, will our suitor want me or us? Am I safer than anyone else? And of course lots of jokes about ordering the suitor logo wear, etc. And when the company leaders sent an email wishing us a happy holiday season, and to please focus on your work even though there is a lot of swirl out there… It is enough to make us all feel like we are walking on a waterbed, slipping on the ice, working without a net…just basic uncertainty.
Before I came back to this company 8 years ago, I had been working in uncertainty for many years. I had worked in start ups, consulted, taught school, worked in retail, and worked on millions of ideas. My view was to add value to the situation, to find the kernel of truth that was yet undiscovered, and tap the new market ready for a breakthrough. After joining, we had meetings where we talked about next year and what we would do. It blew me away because I thought “next year?!!–I don’t know where I will be next month, let alone next year!”
Since that time, I have come to enjoy the “certainty” of this job and this company, of the big initiatives that take a long time to develop, and being able to feel that my future was tied to what I am doing now, setting plans that include this company, and setting plans around vacations, etc.
Today, I am rocked back into remembering the feeling of not having that company net, which in the end has been a false sense of security anyway. I say false sense, but for the past number of years, it has felt that only when you hit the lottery in a bad way did you lose your job. With recent re-org activities, those lottery numbers are hitting all the time. And recent acquisition weather really calls into question whether I will weather this storm!
So that feeling of uncertainty is luckily a welcome friend. He is right there, opening my eyes in the morning, giving me perspective as I start my day, and reminding me that I need to find that kernel of truth that needs to be discovered here, that opportunity to catapult us through the market, the reason to be here, which is not just to earn a retirement, but rather to add value and create a life and legacy worthy of the time we give it.
So as that lady said in the train a while back, “if she wants a fight, then BRING IT ON!”. Uncertainty is our friend, and nice to be hanging out again.