Opportunity cost

I have an interesting conversation with a friend over another mutual friend’s decision to hang in there with his employment to go past his seven-year mark. Our mutual friend wants to cash in his long service leave (LSL) pro-rata. In Australia, an employee is entitled to LSL after ten years of working for the same employer.

I knew this mutual friend has outgrown his current role after the third year or so. He has spoken with his supervisor on several occasions about other roles within the company. He is willing to put his hand up for training and upskilling if the company is keen to develop him. Years passed by and nothing eventuated.

Initially I thought he might be doing some part-time studies or external training to get himself prepared for the next opportunity. I was mistaken. He didn’t think he has the time to invest in himself. He has a family that takes up much of his time. Besides, further education is too far-fetched for him now that he is in his early-mid thirties. He isn’t too old, he belongs to the millennial generation!

I am curious exactly how much one could cash in pro-rata upon termination after seven years of continuous employment with one employer, so I did some detective work at http://www.business.vic.gov.au/calculatelongserviceleave

There is nothing to jump about. He could only cash in six weeks of LSL if he leaves his employment after seven long years. If he had put his heart to actively look for an alternative job, one that could offer him the growth he needed, he would have easily recovered that paltry sum.

Sometimes our biggest obstacle is ourselves. Stepping outside of our comfort zone is vital for our growth. Not doing it will cost us dearly. If we are willing to accept less than what we are worth, that is what people are going to keep offering us. We just need to be willing to think differently and bigger, to experiment and take calculated risk.

Gone were the old days where one could work from cradle to grave in a company. In today’s digital world, there is no guarantee to lifelong employability unless we keep learning and deepening our skills throughout our career.

This truth couldn’t be starker. The revolution has begun [source]:

“Advanced computing is creating systems that get smarter without human interventions; nanotechnology is being built with new materials like graphene, which is one atom thick but 200 times stronger then steel and 10 times more conductive than copper; and our understanding of genomics and more specifically, epigenetics, is facilitating the programming of life. We’re even beginning to develop nanoscale biological robots. In a generation this revolution will touch all of humanity and cause us to question what it means to be human.”

At long last, my friend crossed his seven-year mark. I hope he will wake up and not wait around for the ten-year mark. The opportunity cost far outweighs the 8 weeks of LSL he would be getting after a decade.