Crisis, Opportunity and At Will Employment

Crisis, Opportunity and At Will Employment

Aug 9, 2016

Many people feel that outsourcing an IT department to an IT support Austin is an intrinsically negative activity for a company to engage in. They feel this way because in order to outsource a job it means that the people who perform that job or function inside the company will necessarily loose their positions. This is because loosing one’s position and source of income and livelihood is always a disruptive and anxiety ridden experience.

 

But this experience can also be the opportunity to perhaps improve one’s position as well. It is a well known adage that in the Chinese language the words for “crisis” and “opportunity” are the same word. Unfortunately this adage is somewhat inaccurate as I once had occasion to ask a native Mandarin Chinese speaker whether it is in fact true that “crisis” and “opportunity” are the same word in Chinese. She replied that the two words were similar but not actually the same. Nevertheless, the fact that they are similar is good enough for the sake of this article to make the point I want to make and that point is that having one’s IT job outsourced to a managed IT services Austin is not necessarily a horrible situation.

 

Many people feel that their “safe” nine to five job working in an office offers them security. Unfortunately, the sense of security that this job provides is illusory. It is illusory because the company they work for can terminate their employment at any time for any non discriminatory reason. This is because non contract employment in the United States is governed by the common law “at will” theory. This of course is not true in other countries particularly in Western Europe for example. In France there are legal protections that make it difficult for a company to terminate their employees. These types of protections although providing some degree of security for the employee tend to have a dampening effect on overall levels of employment.

A Conversation with an IT Tech

A Conversation with an IT Tech

Aug 6, 2016

I am standing here with an IT Tech. I understand that the business you work for has recently outsourced their IT department to an IT support Austin.

IT : That is correct.

So are you going to loose your job?

IT : I am not sure about that. My department has certainly downsized since the outsourcing but we still have equipment here that requires on the spot maintenance and servicing. So I think they will keep me around to serve that function.

Have they promised you that your position is secure for the foreseeable future?

IT : In today’s corporate environment there are no guarantees of employment without a contract. All employees are considered “at will” employees by law which means the employee can quit at any time for any reason and the employer can fire the employee at any time for any reason.

That arrangement seems to favor the employer more than the employee.

IT : You can look at it that way. But if an employee has valuable skills he or she can shop them around to whoever is willing to pay the most for them.

That assumes that the economy is running under normal parameters. If the economy is sluggish it might not matter how good your skills are. You still might find yourself in a position where you cannot find a job.

IT : That is true and I have been certainly thinking about that ever since my company outsourced its IT department to a managed IT services Austin. However I guess in this day and age employees either have to try harder or become entrepreneurs if they want job security.

Right. It just seems like a tenuous situation in which to build a life where the flow of income can be disrupted at any point.