Everyone Has An Organizational Expiration Date

I was out at the HR Technology Conference last week and I was reminded of a post I ran a few years back. I ran into a ton of friends and colleagues, many that I’ve known for about ten years. These are good, smart people who are successful in the HR and TA industry.

Regardless, many of these folks are working at new companies, or even looking for work. I’m confident all will find what they are looking for, but it also points out a phenomenon that happens all the time which is many of us have organizational expiration dates.

There are a number of other reason people should have expiration dates with organizations, these include:

  • Chronic Average:  This is for the people who just never really do anything, they just exist in your organization.  After a while, they need to just go exist at another organization.
  • Convicted Idiot: This is the person who makes a certain bad decision, so bad, that their expiration with your organization must come up. Think, hitting on the bosses wife at the holiday party, or worse!  Probably can’t legally terminate them, but they need to go someplace else.
  • 1997 Top Salesman/woman:  This happens way to much, yeah, you were top salesperson a decade ago, either get the trophy back or go give another organization your attitude!  We tend to keep them around because we are hoping they’ll regain their top form, but they don’t. We need to just let them expire.
  • My Boss Is Dummer than Me: An organization can take only so many of these, for only so long. Ok, you win, go be smarter than us someplace else.
  • No Admins Left To Sleep With: I’m hoping the title of this one explains it as well, otherwise, you might have reached your HR expiration date at your organization!

But, what I’ve learned over the past couple of decades is that there are also some positive reasons of why people have organizational expiration dates:

  • New CEO is running the show. One day you’re minding your own business, the next day the new CEO fast-forwards your expiration date so she can bring in her own you.
  • We All Need Some New Magic. Many of us have a limited number of magic tricks. It might be amazing magic, but eventually, even our biggest fans get tired of our magic. But, the great thing is a new organization will love our magic! (Editors note: you can replace ‘magic’ with ‘bullshit’ and this works just the same)
  • You Stopped Growing. I’ve met some folks who took their organization to some great places, but eventually they reached a point where they stopped growing. Going to a new organization is really the only hope.

Probably the best thing we can hope for professionally is that we will know when our organizational expiration date is up before others know.  How do we do that? Work hard on having the best self-insight you can. It might just extend your expiration date.


2 thoughts on “Everyone Has An Organizational Expiration Date

  1. True said @timsackett
    A Coin always has two sides. It is undoubted to say that everyone has an organizational expiration date. And, on the flip side, there is no expiration date on talent. Keep this in mind the next time you are tempted to compete for the same people with everyone else. Dare to be different.

  2. Unfortunately your assumption is that the employees or HR are morally the perfect judge. Often the role of HR is damage control rather employee welfare. So, I find your view on much suspect corporate innervoice. “We would never fire an employee after a significant other experienced a life threatening event… A load of BS… Since that is exactly what they did. It didn’t happen immediately, but starting the next week I suddenly was not the stellar employee that I was over the past 4 years. Within 6 months I was sent out the door for their prejudice. It happened with a staff of 6 people 3 of which were in a socio-economic group. All 3 of us disappeared within a year.

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