Last week, Oprah said goodbye to her fans after a 25-year run as the host of the Oprah Winfrey Show. There was not a lot of fanfare, just Oprah on the stage, by herself, speaking as if she was talking directly to you and I. It was really a type on monologue and at the end she gracefully walked off the stage and into the next phase of her professional life. She will now be running her OWN network full time.
Over her 25-year career as employee and owner, Oprah became a household name as well as a billionaire. That sort of longevity, while to be appreciated, is foreign to today’s younger employees. In today’s economy, gone are the days of 25, 15 and even 10 year careers with one company. The reason? Companies everywhere are downsizing and laying off employees or merging with other corporations and cutting redundant staff. Incentives to stay with a company long-term are few a far between, not to mention that company pensions have long been a thing of the past. But employers should not take all the blame. Today’s employees know that more than ever, their career development is in their own hands and the fastest route to advancement up the ladder is out of the door of their current employer. These days, employees are akin to free agents in the sports arena. They “sign a contract” and commit to a company for a certain amount of time then exercise their rights to pursue other opportunities when the time feels right. Welcome to the new workplace.