Reassess Worn Out Myths About Work

Originally published in on May 21, 2019

The world of work has changed dramatically, forcing today’s workers to reconsider outdated paradigms and attitudes. Companies today are continually in flux. The further up a person goes on the professional ladder, the less job security that person has.

It’s time to take notice and ask yourself: What’s happening in my industry? How can I prepare to compete? And: What myths should I now abandon?

Reassess your beliefs in regards to several of the long-held myths about work:

Myth 1: Companies are like families. If I do my job well, my job will be secure, and therefore, my future is assured.

Reality: Companies are not families. They cannot ensure a secure job and, even less so, a stable future. Today, the business world is so competitive, globalized, and changing, that companies cannot ensure even their own survival.

Security today doesn’t necessarily come from having a job, but from the ability to get work when and where necessary. You can achieve this by becoming employable — that is, by having the abilities and skills expected of your position, quantifiable achievements and results, a stellar reputation and image, and an active and current contact network.

The executive profile most in demand today is that of an entrepreneur who strives to create value, take risks, and solve problems in order to develop the organization. Nothing sells better than a track record of success and enthusiasm to meet new challenges.

Myth 2: The most qualified or hard-working people get the best jobs.

Reality: Several other factors may be more relevant than job performance, such as key relationships, access to decision-makers, how you’re perceived within the organization, ambition, demonstrated commitment to company objectives, value creation, and profitability. People who exhibit professionalism and present themselves as distinctly ahead of the competition attain the best jobs and promotions.

Myth 3: The company I work for should be responsible for my training.

Reality: Obtaining training and keeping skills up to date is every person’s own responsibility. Keeping your skills current is a major competitive differentiator. Demonstrating needed capabilities and turning them into quantifiable results contribute significantly to each person’s employability.

Myth 4: Not having a job is a sign of professional failure.

Reality: Today, the market is full of capable and successful executives who are temporarily out of a job due to circumstances quite unrelated to their performance.

As businesses and markets change, people can expect to change jobs more and more often, depending on your particular industry. Being out of the market at a given moment of your life doesn’t tarnish your career or discredit your achievements. Moreover, if you’ve proven yourself in several organizations, you’ll likely have an advantage. The danger lies in mistakenly defining your worth by whatever position you hold, instead of acknowledging its transient nature.

View Mention

View original article published in El Comercio newspaper (Peru) on July 20, 2004:

El Comercio

The new normal is complex and challenging. Our best positive attitude will be decisive for us to adapt well, improve our professional profile, and move forward faster without looking back.

El Comercio

Original Spanish version published in  El Comercio newspaper on April 26, 2020 When this is all over, and it will be, many people will come out of it transformed. The crisis will have served to discover their true character, their grit and inner strength. And with that…

back Ines Temple Resilience

Being authentic requires showing yourself as you really are. It requires checking your ego at the door and not looking down on anyone. It requires courage and self-confidence, but also honesty and tact to “tell it like it is.”