Flexibility is the Ultimate Survival Skill
The Great Resignation is a Culture Shift: Loyalty only works in times of stability
I’ve been through multiple “once in a lifetime” economic meltdowns, and lost track of how many times I’ve been advised to stay the course, be consistent, and be loyal. The career advice we’ve all grown up with worked great in another era, that era of Boomers, when there was a thriving middle class and worker protections.
The pandemic has made it all too obvious: the jig is up.
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
We think of people as having personalities—consistent traits of behavior that influence everything. Cultures and organizations also have predictable ways of processing information and making sense of the world. The best-known framework is Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions.
If you’ve never heard of Hofstede’s work, it’s a fascinating way to understand how different groups of people form large-scale beliefs, and how those beliefs influence the way they navigate the world.
Everyone I know who changed jobs during The Great Resignation is leaving for greener pastures, including greater work-life balance and a less toxic work culture. We’re not willing to suffer for decades because we now have proof that waiting, loyalty, and patience aren’t always rewarded.
Shifting to a short-term orientation is the only thing that makes sense when we’re staring down the tunnel of a climate emergency, food insecurity, and economic insecurity. Ignoring inevitable danger causes the kind of chronic stress that erodes mental health.
How are you supposed to prepare for the unknown future? What about the big things that no one sees coming?
We don’t have to guess about how to survive during uncertainty: all we have to do is look at history and evolution. We already have billions of years of data on how to survive in unpredictable environments. There have been several mass extinctions on earth; it’s hard to say that any species that has gone extinct was…