Personal Musings

You are replaceable

But not to your family and friends

I get it. I’m the same way.

It’s a lie we tell ourselves: that our particular talent and skill level at work makes us irreplaceable in some alternate universe that isn’t reality.

The cold hard truth, however, is that as an employee, no matter how awesome you are—and you are awesome—you are replaceable.

The pieces will be picked up.

The company will not go to shambles following your departure.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average will not plummet sending the stock market into a death spiral.

You are replaceable.

While I do advocate that you should work hard and efficiently in your job, just remember this: it is a job, and you are replaceable.

There’s a reason why it’s #2 on this list, after all. On no one’s death bed do they say, “You know, if I had only spent more time obsessing about work and less time with my family and friends…”

When your time comes, your job will not be sitting front row at your funeral with a snotty tissue and red eyes recalling how hilarious you were, or how kind, or how gentle.

It won’t remember that time you got in a car wreck while parked.

(True story)

Your family will.

Your friends will.

Your job won’t though.

Remember that.

Your job won’t because you are replaceable.

You’re dead, and your job and irreplaceable skill-set and value to the company have been replaced and are in job training until 5 p.m.

Now stop writing that email in your head.

It can wait until tomorrow.

Go play with LEGOs.

Or draw or color in a coloring book with your kids.

Or take them on a bike ride or a walk.

They probably think your job is boring anyway.

Thanks for reading.

Photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash

3 replies on “You are replaceable”

Not dying, but retiring and every time someone says, “I don’t know what we will do without you during SOL testing!” I always reply, “Someone will come along and it will get done!” I am handing the baton over to someone else and oh by the way, “Counting down my days til retirement…do da, do da! 30 more days and I will be done…oh my do da day!

You know, I felt like I was irreplaceable at my job. It is owned by someone who was a dear friend and I was one of the ground-level G1 employees. I thought I was doing work no one else could do and that it would yield dividends in the end. So, I tolerated being shouted at, belittled, gaslighted, and taken advantage of. Because I was going to get something big out of it, besides the paycheck and the experience for my resume. But you know what? I quit. No retirement or savings. No new job (though I’ve been looking for months.) I gave them two months notice so that they could hire someone who I could train. I thought this would get me extra credit points. In the end, I have nothing. Not even the job. But I do have a good reference, despite the final days of this unnatural disaster. And I am sleeping better, which is maybe worth everything.

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