April 01, 2006

Luddites Unite!

One of the most pernicious aspects of the French labor laws, and even the relative relaxation in their rigidity that is causing so much grief there now is that it virtually condemns people into whatever job they take when they are relatively young. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems to me that the mindset of most people in France that whatever job they happen to land will be their first, last and only job until they retire. Given the pace of change in technology, economic globalization, or other factors that will not be obvious for years to come, having people mentally locked into thinking that they should settle for whatever job they take at a young age is a virtual guarantee of societal and economic obsolescence.

I'm 46 and I've changed employers three times and careers twice since leaving school. I'm now president and co-owner of a company. Would I be where I am now if I had went into my first job thinking that it was my right to be employed there until I retired?

I almost feel sorry for them.


Posted by Charles Austin at April 1, 2006 09:28 PM