Work every day like you just got fired

If the title seems like click bait to you, it’s because we have different ideas of work morale. I’ve heard countless times that motivation drops drastically when somebody quits or when somebody gets laid off. If you work differently on your last month of your employment, then you’ve been giving your company “extra stuff” in the first place.

I’ve witnessed many handovers and I have the highest respect for people who try to make themselves replaceable by documenting processes and reducing single points of failure instead of gathering them before the 30 day countdown to a new employment begins.

When you try to occupy knowledge without continuously trying to pass it on, you’re increasing your value for the company, but only yours. That can mean you get paid more, but you’re doing it by holding the company hostage for your own reasons.

If you think:

Oh, they won’t fire me, because they can’t do $X without me, because they don’t know how!

I would find that an unhealthy approach. It’s holding everybody back. It’s keeping your wife married to you because she can’t afford to move out because of the mortgage on the house.

Your interest with relationships (work and private) should be that the other part can leave you at any point, but deliberately chooses not to. When nobody would know how to hire another you, just write the job description for HR. Your boss will raise an eye brow, because they expect you to quit or that it’s some sort of hint, so what.

A workplace full of hidden agendas and intransparency to me is a bad workplace and I want no part in it. I want to be useful to mine and not live in an unhealthy co dependency, where both parts have plans for retaliation.

I encourage you to make it as easy for your employer to fire you, because that will cause them not to or if they do, you don’t want to be in that place in the first place. Everything well documented and easy for somebody else to pick up will most like make it easy for others to overtake some of your tasks and will leave you more time to do more fun things, ideally.

As always, let me know your thoughts on this, throw a tweet at me or if you know me in person, buy me a beer.

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2 thoughts on “Work every day like you just got fired”

  1. Hello,

    I totally agree and believe in this too, unfortunately that’s just 2 people out of 10. Many people believe in creating dependency and those are the people who ultimately get into trouble because their approach backfires on them one day or another.

    1. That’s an interesting thought! How do you mean backfire?

      I’ve seen very different work cultures, for example Denmark vs. Germany and then in different jobs also mostly highly motivated (and often insecure) and low motivation with a lot of confidence and I think making myself replaceable has been good every time.

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