What If Shit Happened?

What if you lost your job today? No, really. What if you actually lost your job today? I am asking you. No, I’m begging you, to think for just a moment about this. What would you do? Are you going to go out and look for another job at another similar company? I bet you’re smart enough to have an back-up plan. Alas, most people would be completely lost if they lost their jobs today.

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong – Murphy’s law.

I am always inspired when I read “Why We’re Broke and How To Fix It” by Naomi Dunford. In that article, she describes a small town in Ontario, Canada where the area’s largest employer closed down one day.

Here’s what Naomi says, “Recently, in a small town in Ontario, the area’s largest employer closed its doors. Most of the town, trained only in the art and science of making canned soup, found themselves out of work. A few thousand soup makers live in a town where nobody wants to pay them to make soup. Now all of them are going to try to find a way to apply their skill sets to other employers in the area. The competition is fierce, and their mortgages are on the line. Except there are no other major employers in the area.”

Can you imagine that? What would you do if you woke up one morning to find that not only had you lost your job, but your whole industry and area of specialisation disappeared overnight? I know, I know..you live in a big town and you’re trained in X or Y which is always in demand. Blah.

How much time do you spend worrying about your immediate boss’ job security? Do you invest a lot of time worrying about his happiness and fulfillment at work? Well, guess what? He spends the same exact amount of time worrying about you, your happiness and your job security. This is hard to swallow for many people – we grew up dreaming of ‘dream’ jobs and long careers. I’m sorry but the world changed.

Seth Godin puts it best, “As long as you work for someone else, you have no job security. As long as your company is public, your future is in the hands of others – people who are likely not as smart as you are. And as long as you follow the instructions of others, you won’t be fulfilling your destiny or really, truly making a difference in the way people live and work.”

Stop doing something that is risky, crazy, and that you don’t understand (your current job is all three). Stop working for The Man and start building something that people will remember.

Additional Resources


  1. The good news is that you don’t have to quit your job right away. You can start working on your own thing during your spare time and take it from there. This worked for eBay and countless others. Unangoja nini?

  2. Marvellous, timely post Kelvin, gives me something to really think about.

    I also need to go out and buy those books.

    The only thing I have going for me is that when I was a bit younger, I went out and did stuff out of my main career to diversify my skills, then went back to school to specialise in my main career.

    It might not work for everyone but I think sometimes its good to dabble in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

    I love Seth Godin’s wisdom. The truth is, no one got really rich working for someone else….and I wanna be rich-then try to alleviate poverty within our borders! That I would love to believe is my destiny.

    • Mama, that is exactly what I was thinking. One needs to diversify in order to cushion oneself from any drastic happenings.
      lol my chief skill is writin and I work as a writer. I need to find something else…

    • Mama, I believe there was a sale at Booksfirst for Seth Godin’s book “Small is the new Big”. It is just wonderful aki. Sijui if the sale is over…

      I think what you did is how it should be. Being too specialised is great but can be disastrous..

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