Big companies have always been synonymous with economic and employment security.
Until recently, getting a job with a leading company in the industry meant being able to retire from that same company. Even in some cases, with responsibilities quite similar to the original ones, without the need for new training or department changes.
In addition, these companies used to follow a “no dismissal” regime due to its impact on the stock market, so working in these areas was similar to being a civil servant: the job was insured and you also had a good salary and very beneficial conditions (insurance, allowances, car, house, travel…)
When these companies needed to cut back on staff, they launched an Early Retirement Plan, something very appealing to employees that offered them the possibility of earning extra money while changing their respective salary/conditions improvement to another new company.
Why is it no longer a stable market?
One of the main reasons that has generated instability has been the volatility of the projects due to the need to present new products to the audience. In the face of a scenario of capitalism and aggressive consumerism, mostly led by constantly dissatisfied customers who demand new and better products, companies are forced to strengthen their creative area, constantly offering new products that may or may not work.
This, added to the disproportionate technological development that we find today, makes the business areas in the technology sector unpredictable.
As an example, in the infrastructure deployment sector, in just 10 years it has “suffered” the appearance of dozens of new technologies such as Vagrant, Ansible, Chef, Puppet, Docker, Kubernetes, AWS (Cloudformation), Azure, GCP and more. All those companies that have not adapted to these new technologies have a clear disadvantage compared to those that have.
An additional point is that the absolute leaders in the sector, such as Amazon or Google in the technology sector, are the ones who dictate the course of the market, and the rest of the large companies must adapt and surf this new wave, which can pull them in or give them more strength.
How are companies adapting?
The requirements and interests of the new technological generations have also changed. Where before there was the company car, now there is remote working and where before there was travel and per diem, now there are childcare and food checks.
To this change, we must add the excellent technical qualifications of today’s young people and the low employment expectations, establishing a privileged scenario for new companies that see an excellent opportunity to improve performance and reduce costs and salaries.
This is where Early Retirement Plan comes in, allowing these large companies to renew their employees with new, younger, more trained, cheaper and more ambitious workers.
Liquid company and gaseous people
Solids retain their shape and persist over time: they last; while liquids lack shape and are constantly transformed: they flow. Like deregulation, flexibilization or liberalization of markets. — Bauman Zygmunt. “Liquid Modernity”
If we call solid work to that traditional employment in relation with a company, the liquid work is the one that adapts to the needs of the market.
From this point of view, the worker’s objective changes, he no longer aspires to be a model and faithful employee in the traditional sense, but he wants to become an “asset” or a “value” for the companies in which he provides or will provide his services.
The new norm is that the “millennials” change jobs 4 times in their first decade after leaving university. They’re almost double the average of the previous generation.
And in this sociological context has already defined the term “gaseous people” which would be those who, like the gases adapt to the container that contains them, adapt to the organizations in which they collaborate and are able to change and adapt again adding value in everything they do whatever the company is.
The liquid company is obliged to take a step forward to be able to assume the challenges that affect its sector, it is no longer useful to wait reactively for the change to come, but it has to anticipate as much as possible.
This implies, as we commented in the previous section, to have multidisciplinary teams that are designed ad-hoc for each project, to work with agile methodologies, even, some pioneering companies are trying the temporary alternation of the managerial positions of the organizations.