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Are you a Lifer?

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3 out-dated beliefs about the corporate world

[The Foolish Couple @Home Series]

Do you believe that if your company performs well then your job is secure?

Do you think that, if you work hard and do well at work, that you will be rewarded accordingly?

These may be ‘beliefs’ that were passed down to us from our grandparents and our parents, however they are no longer true.


Things have changed.


But my company is different …

Every company has their unique qualities and struggles. Every company has a different culture, a unique heartbeat. Every company has a differentiating personality and its own habits.

Some are more energetic. Others are sleepy. Some are like lions that opens its mouth wide and eats its prey whole. Others chew in small bites and digest slowly.

However, there are also commonalities amongst almost all corporations. Even for B-corps and non-profits.


Every Corporations have ‘Comfort Zones’

Like a thermostat. If the temperature drops below 70 degrees, it kicks on the Heater. If it goes above 72 degrees, it turns on the Air Conditioner. 70-72 degrees is your comfort zone.




When income drops below a certain level, companies panic. They quickly take actions to bring it back to the ‘Comfort Zone’.

When profits skyrocket, companies would go on a shopping spree, buying smaller, more gullible companies. Or they would pass it out as dividends.

Remember a company called Excite? Sun Microsystems? Even the most glamorous companies can fall hard and vanish.

Over my years as an independent consultant, I came across so many people that are loyal to their companies. They work hard, they are proud of their jobs, and they put their heart and soul into their work. Only to be downsized / right-sized.


People are trapped in their corporate jobs over and over again, because they have been ‘pre-conditioned’ to believe that they should dedicate their lives to their jobs.


There are some beliefs that are especially deceiving:


Belief #1: IPO’s are the way to go

A few years ago, I was consulting in a pre-IPO company. And this company had the most successful IPO’s in history. On the first day, their stock price shot up from $30 to over $200. It was a joyful day for the employees.

Since that day, those who have fully vested promptly left. Those who have not started counting the days until they would be vested.

Turns out, most of them were miserable. The long, grueling hours, the work load, the pressure, the stress, neglecting their family and friends had made them unhappy, feeling under appreciated and over stressed.

As success coaches, we teach our clients to value their time and to achieve whole life balance. Your value to your company is not determined by how many hours you put in.

 It’s not about how much time you put in. It’s about what you put into that time.

old clockBelief #2: My company is doing well therefore my job is safe.

This belief may have been true 30 years ago, but not today.

Today, mergers and acquisitions are common. When 2 companies become 1, many roles and responsibilities become redundant and therefore eliminated. Re-organizations, right-sizing activities would often eliminating 10% or more people. Outsourcing to overseas often causes an entire department to be let go.

You may be laid off, not because of poor performance. But because your companies decides that you are no longer needed.


Belief #3: I must work long hours in order to be promoted and get a raise

Truth is: Your pay and position are not dependent on how hard you work. It is not dependent on your performance either. The person sitting next to you, with the same title, same responsibilities, could be earning 20% more than you. The reason? They ask. (*This is Success Principle #17. Learn more here).

Profit and loss

In this time and age, it is far easier to get a promotion and get a raise by changing jobs.


What should you believe in?

We believe that it is far more important to have whole life balance and success. Your career may be important, but you also have family, friends, health, growth, spirituality and other elements of your life that you must not ignore.

We build our entire on-line curriculum around achieving work-life balance. But here’s a few quick tips that will help you achieve a more balanced life at work:

Vintage balance

  1. Block out your lunch time. It may be ½ hour or an hour. And they don’t always have to be the same time every day. But block it out so that you can spend some time away from work.
  1. Block out your sleep time. For me, 9pm to 5am is my sleep time. Turn your smart phone to sleep mode during these hours.
  1. Skip the water cooler talks. Chit chats about news and weather takes away valuable time and really does nothing else for you.


For more inspirations on achieving work life balance, follow our blog at

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