Some recent headlines.

Cognizant layoffs: Gloom continues, jobs in tech and IT companies dry up

A techie and above 35? You are most likely to be fired

So, are we heading towards an Orwellian state on our careers?

Lynda Gratton, in her book, The Shift, released in 2011, identified the following five forces that are changing the future of work.

  • Technological Developments
  • Globalisation
  • Demographic Changes
  • Societal Trends
  • Low -Carbon Developments

I think we are seeing the impact of it in our day to day lives. The pace of technological developments alone is eating away careers.

So, should you be surprised, if some day, you are going to be told, “Please look out.”

You cannot believe it. You have been a consistent star performer, and you refuse to believe it.

You have possibly burnt a decade of your midnight oil for the organization you work for, and you are dumbfounded.

The organization has always had your best interests, and you should not view this personally. They have always had the best interests at their heart.  But given a choice between making the organization survive, and you survive, the choice is a no-brainer.

Remember the adage. “Nobody is indispensable.”

Somewhere in your day to day relentless run, you got into an interesting blend of mixing commitment with convenience, comfort, and complacency.

You balanced your commitment with a sense of convenience, comfort, and complacency.

Your hidden biases would have made you think that the balance was shifted towards your “commitment” more while in practice the balance is tilted heavily towards the three “C”‘s.

What is the point I am making?

Two points.

  • I was kidding about the Orwellian state.
  • I am damned serious about us mixing up commitment and the other “C”‘s.

So, how do you insulate from any forces including Black Swan events?

I would like to introduce the other “C.”

Do you know what the other “C” is?


  • Contribute more towards your stakeholders.
  • Contribute more towards your peers
  • Contribute more towards your team
  • Contribute more towards your family
  • Contribute more towards your society

Start moving from a consumer to a producer. Just start somewhere.

What you have accumulated over the years is valuable. Do not underestimate the nights spent burning the midnight oil.

They built you. Make it count.

When you start in that mode, you naturally equip yourself to start put yourself in a state of continuous learning. Even if is for fifteen minutes daily, ponder on what little magic you can bring to the world.  You might start discovering something inside you, that you possibly have never found so far.

Do not underestimate the power of marginal gains.

I shall summarize in one sentence.

“Increase your contribution margin in your sphere of influence.”

If your question is “What does it guarantee ?”


However, it starts giving you a sense of freedom and purpose and above all a state of measured confidence.

You might have heard the eagle story of how it reinvents itself. You can watch it here.

I do not think we have forty years like the eagle. I see it as a need to refresh ourselves every five years.

If you do not agree, I request you to take stock.

Go ahead and get an objective evaluation of your market value.

You would be pleasantly surprised or rudely shocked. It does take you out of your comfort zones.

Enjoy Maadi