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Nick Powills: Your Future Will Matter: What Happens in an Employee-Run Economy

And if you take nothing else away, take this: quit ghosting in the workplace.

The current economy is an employee-run economy. What does this mean? The employees are controlling the process because jobs are plentiful. There is another reason, though—payback. Employers (some) were not kind to employees in the last turbulent economy. This is where the saying, “what goes around, comes around,” comes from. 

An employee economy in a payback world also leads to other challenges—both for employer and for employee, such as (and these have actually happened):

  1. Glassdoor/Yelp Reviews: A payback economy means people are looking for justice. Justice, to those who feel violated, can come in the form of a review. Someday, though, I would predict more transparency—thus potentially opening up that one-sided glass door and exposing those who have posted—both employers with fake reviews and employees with names. In the moment, retribution feels wonderful. Long-term, if your activities are exposed, I would predict impact on job searches. Companies will deeply care about reputation and online behaviors will play into the hiring decision. Look what has happened with celebrities and old Twitter posts. Even though sensitivities may have not been as high then, exposure to old tweets can be damaging. Think about the long-term impact.
  2. Quitting without another job, or not staying at a job for a year. In the moment, it may feel like the employee has to bounce, but what happens when the economy turns back to being an employer economy? Unfortunately, payback will revert back and those folks who bounce, may find it tough to find a job. We are dismissing quick changes as generationally based, but, I would imagine loyalty and commitment to a career will be rewarded in the next shift in the economy—again, exposing questionable decisions.
  3. Ghosting. This is happening—on interviews, on jobs. It’s the ultimate blindsided payback. But what happens when your name gets connected to ghosting? Hiring will dry up and you will be stuck making excuses. There is a saying that you treat people the way you want to be treated. I know that in the moment it feels wonderful to make this decision and that many don’t think about long-term consequences, but the after party, it might not be as fun when you get that label.
  4. Cover letters. Stories are lost and left for interpretation. The art of the cover letter seems lost on the world, yet, it’s your chance to show your ability to write and give clarity to your why. You may be skipping out on these, but, they are a great opportunity to help you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

My hope is that during the next shift in the economy, employers don’t come back hard on the employee run economy. Let’s just call it even. Let’s focus on awesome cultures, clear expectations, accountability on both sides, and loving careers. At least that’s how I am choosing to run our business.