The Importance of Career Liquidity 🌊

Nov 18, 2022 3:01 pm

Happy Friday!

Did you miss me? Things have been insane for the past month or more. In October, I was home for around five days total and on the road the rest of the time. We bought a house somehow during that time too. I've been busy, but I've also felt bad about missing my commitment to send you this newsletter every Friday. I'm sorry.

As we move into the holiday season, the tech community is getting hit pretty hard with layoffs from the big players in the space, and it's got people talking and nervous.

I had one friend go through the Twitter layoffs, and even though they've been in this industry a long time, they were still anxious and flipped from being a confident person in tech to someone worried about if they can get a job.

Since I work with many folks as they change jobs or careers, this is a common pattern of having some confidence while employed but having it all shot when you're not. It's hard not to let that dark side of our minds whisper the possibility that it's your fault and that you're not good enough.

Most of the time, it really doesn't have anything to do with you specifically and has more to do with business situations changing and tough decisions getting made. It's part of the deal.

This is why I preach this concept of career liquidity to the folks who ask me for career help.

The idea is simple in concept—have the confidence and skills needed to change jobs at any moment.

Most people struggle with this because they want a lot from their jobs. They want stability, they want challenges, they want growth, and on and on. So the idea of casually walking away feels like walking away from those things too.

The truth is though, that employment is, at its heart, a business transaction, and everything else is a perk that you enjoy after the business takes care of itself. The moment that deal is no longer equitable, it's time to go.

Not only is that good business, but it also makes you impervious to the changing tides of what is going on from company to company. Now, I'm not saying that all those other things don't matter, but I am saying that expecting any company to go out of its way to give those to you is nothing more than hope. When that hope is realized, it is wonderful. When it isn't, its time to go looking.

An old saying goes like this, "It's easier to change jobs than it is to change companies."

Career liquidity is about you taking care of yourself and not giving that responsibility to your employer.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the layoffs or this concept around career liquidity. It tends to provoke a number of emotions in folks.