If you had been paddling in the great green greasy Limpopo river and a crocodile had grabbed your ankle, you would be yelling “Let Go! Let Go!” This means that you wished to be released to enjoy the rest of your life free from the digestive activities of a large carniverous reptile.
In this world of political correctness no employer wants to be seen to fire people or sack them, so euphemisms are developed such as ‘outplacement’ and ‘reassignment’ and for many years the favourite has been to ‘let people go’. Yep, that’s right, just like the crocodile lets us go. Yet when it happens to us we don’t seem to show the same joy and relief – this is one crocodile we want to stay with, but is that right?
In the bad old days of slavery, colonial or Roman, if a slave was faithful or heroic, perhaps saving the owner’s family from a blazing house, what was the biggest reward we could give them? Why, their freedom of course. We would strike off their chains and declare them a ‘freeman’ or ‘freewoman’ (some families still proudly carry the name, Freeman), but now we call that being made redundant.
Someone clever once said, “We are born individuals but we die clones”. I help large companies to get optimum performance from their teams. What they want is consistency. When people become unique or indispensable they get expensive and troublesome. If the position of departmental head became vacant in your company and HR said that the core competencies were to juggle cabbages, knit a cardigan and sing all the verses of All Things Bright and Beautiful, about 40 people would master those skills, giving the employer plenty to choose from. Even time is a constrict of work. When a huge cotton mill was driven by one steam engine, everyone had to be there at the same time. The single weaver in his cottage would weave when it suited him and he probably didn’t even own a clock.
There are going to be loads of people ‘let go’ in these troubled times. If it’s you, don’t panic – see it as being set free. Your value comes from being unique. To quote one of my book covers about self employment, “Come in, the water’s lovely!”. In these blogs and in my books (particularly Go It Alone – you can download a lite version free from this website) I will try to coach and guide you. If there is any subject you would like me to cover, just drop me an email.
Be free! Be happy!