Sunday, July 15, 2012

When Might-Have-Beens and Reality Collide

At my current employer, quite a few people have been there 20, 30, 40, even 50 years. I'll admit having felt a twinge of something close to envy. Since 1993 I haven't been at any employer as long as 4 years. The idea of 30 or 40 years of "stability" had a certain appeal. Last evening I started thinking of all the employers I've left or who have left me.

I've been laid off 5 times since 1993, so, obviously, staying longer at those places wasn't an option. Two of those 5 companies have either essentially disappeared or so changed that, either way, I would probably still have been laid off, just a few years later. Of the other three, one was so marginal that its survival is an ongoing uncertainty - a layoff looking for its time. And a fourth, the 75-mile daily round-trip commute was getting really old (though I liked my work, the company, its products and its people) - not a good long-term prospect.

Of the three companies I left of my own volition, two are essentially gone, and I would have been laid off (due to hard times or moving the company's operations), just later. And the third, well, I had lost faith in the quality of its product, tried and failed to drive a meaningful investigation into its quality, and I was miserable. So, none of those companies was a reasonable chance for a long-term stay.

Might-have-beens fare poorly in the face of cold, hard, rational, examination. God really does know best - in guiding our choices and in making our "choices" for us.

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