The Literary Drover No. 3186

I do not understand why so many people are reactive instead proactive.

For example, a guy I have known for many years. After more than a decade of working temporary jobs and contacts that barely provided financial means for food and shelter he got a full-time job with a company known for its generous benefits package, including an automatic annual pay increase of at least ten percent. For this guy, who chose not to go to college or get training or certification that would give him an advantage in the workplace, this opportunity was a godsend, a miracle. His new employer also made it known that any employee who wanted to pursue education could do so at almost no cost to them so long as they maintained an overall grade average of “C”. They made much of the fact more than a few employees had come to the company with a high school education and retired years later with a doctorate. They also promoted the fact that more than a few employees, because of this educational offering, had gone on to start and establish successful businesses.

About five years after the guy I know went to work for this company (which shall remain unnamed for reasons that will become apparent) it was decided that the automatic annual pay increase would end because too many had become complicit owing to a sense of entitlement.

It was also decided that employees would have to demonstrate their worth and value to the company each work day. “You are an asset or a liability” was the informal company motto.

And it was also decided that an employee who wanted to pursue education opportunities at the company’s expense would have to earn a grade of at “B” to receive financial reimbursement and that the course or courses taken had to be directly and immediately relevant to their work. The days of classes with names like “International Abstract Basketweaving and The History of Communism in Vermont” were at an end.

Some the long-time employees, who were also astute, sensed change was coming to the company, and they were proactive.

Not the guy I know. At the end of the first year of the new program he was summoned to Human Resources, and was reminded that the automatic annual pay increase was no longer in effect. He was also asked to explain why he had not pursued educational opportunities relevant to his work.

Excuses were made, explanations were given, and allowances by HR were provided for the failings and shortcomings, but he was told that in the coming year he would have to make an effort to keep his job.

To make a long story short after five plus years of being reactive instead of being proactive the guy I know was told by HR he should consider employment opportunities elsewhere because one member of senior executive management had decided he was a liability, not an asset.

I would like to report that he excelled professionally, but I cannot do so. His proactive actions and behaviors were too little, too late, and a year later he was downsized.

This story has been offered because it is directly relevant to writing, specifically blogging.

Are you proactive or reactive when it comes to blogging and being a blogger? Are you an asset or a liability where the blogosphere is concerned?

Will you be blogging tomorrow? A week from today?  A month from now? Three months from this day? Six months? A year? Five years? If you choose to continue your blogging efforts what will you have produced that is an asset and not a liability to your audience and supporters?

The time has come for Social Media to become proactive instead of reactive. The time has come for Social Media to become an asset to all, and not a liability.

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