As im talking to young people, especially young men, I have noticed something.
Most have swallowed the pill of “I need to be in a certain position by the age of …. to be someone or feel good about myself”. Family’s and society’s expectations add to this problem, and as a result:
- People job-hopping to get “there”, not necessarily because they want the role or are ready for it. Or because the role is fulfilling for the person or necessary for the organisation. Sometimes organisations fuel this “hunt for self-esteem” by creating unnecessary roles under the disguise of retention.
- People get demotivated and desperate and act out this desperation by job-hopping, asking for vague training like “make me more professional”, “I want to learn something”, or by playing the victim of “nobody notices how good im”. They even threaten employers by saying “im leaving if you don’t give me something”.
- People burn out, especially in higher roles, because they got “there” for the wrong reason.
- People compare themselves to others which destroys them.
My heart breaks looking at these young men trying to find themselves and their self-worth in roles. The other day someone straight up told me “if I had that role people would respect me”. We had a long chat, but th
e damage done by the social narrative is too great to remedy it with one conversation.
The sooner we realise that self-worth, self-esteem, happiness, and respect is not equal to positions and start educating people about it, perhaps we can fix retention & motivation problems in organisations.
Companies are desperately trying to retain & motivate employees not realising what they are up against. The global social narrative of:
- progress is linear and timelined
- roles are important and admired