Tag Archives: value

Security or Significance? Choose.

Here’s an article which will probably both ring true with you, and disturb you at the same time.

The essential point is, an awful lot of people, in an awful lot of walks of life, seem to find themselves doing work that is peripheral, or completely disconnected, from what they value, and from what they thought their employer was all about.

And it leaves them feeling worthless, unvalued, unhappy, even ashamed.

They do it because it keeps them alive, and it provides enough income.

The world of traditional aerospace, being by its very nature traditional, conservative, and bottom-line-oriented, is no exception.

It is therefore worthwhile asking oneself the following question then, no matter what stage in your life and career you find yourself:

Which matters more to me: Security? Or significance?

Because if security (of lifestyle, income, schedule, etc) matters more, you had better have some tolerance for doing work that you don’t value. For at least some of the time.

Conversely, if significance matters more to you, you will have to keep your wits about you, and be prepared to take bold action when required.

Because the inevitable trend is towards work that is dull, commoditized, and security-oriented.

The action you will need to take will include refusal to do work that doesn’t matter to you, or to the people you care about.

That’s risky, of course. Security goes out the window, at least for a while.

Though if you stick to your guns, in the long run, security might come back in the front door, and you get the best of both worlds.

Whatever the case, ask yourself the question. And choose.

Engineer, are you a commodity?

(Hint: The default value is YES.)

Here’s a blog post well worth reading, entitled How to be a freelance engineer. Very insightful.

I would have prefaced it with two questions:

  1. Do you know the currency value of the skills you will bring to the marketplace as a freelance engineer?
  2. If the answer to Question 1 is yes, are you still sure you want to be a freelance engineer?

Author Seth Godin likes to ask people if there is anyone else in the world that can deliver the same goods or services as you, for the same money (or less).

If the answer to that question is YES, he will tell you that you are on a race to the bottom.

Continue reading Engineer, are you a commodity?