British bank HSBC, like so many financial institutions, is slashing headcount. By 2017, 50,000 jobs will be gone, both through layoffs and by spinning off businesses that no longer fit its strategy.
Those, of course, are "good jobs. The immediate takeaway for us Baby Boomers is to embrace the reality that job security is so yesterday. We can't make it happen. No matter how talented we are. How hard we work. How much we have built a network. Or even how vital we might be to the functioning of an organization.
That's been a difficult concept for our generation to integrate. Most of us came of professional age when Corporate America, which adopted the military model, could provide us lifetime employment. For that, we willingly became The Organization Man or Organization Woman.
But, that era is over. In 2003, when my wildly successful communications boutique collapsed, I had to learn to live by my wits. Download Geezerguts. There was no security to return to. Forget all that 20th-century career advice.
Living by my wits entailed figuring out from the get-go how to maintain a flow of income. When that meant nailing survival jobs for the interim, I had to take on the right protective coloring. For example, I provided a working-class persona during interviews and in doing the actual job. I also wisely dropped advanced degrees from my resume.
The result: Every time I needed income, I have been able to be hired for jobs which paid at least $10 hourly. With the wolf not howling outside my door I could more effectively sell my communications services.
So, rather than engaging in magical thinking that the Golden Age of Corporate America will return, let's just ask ourselves: What do we do next to make ourselves more marketable? For me, that's a weekend gig as a sales representative for a tech company in a store within a store. You bet, I am learning plenty.