When you feel that the company or the entire industry has no future, when should you change jobs (run away)?

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“I know what you said, but this matter is not as simple as you think.” I still remember when I was working as an industrial counselor, I often heard bosses say this to me.

When I was promoting the development of recycled materials in the stone processing industry, I asked, “How else will the stone processing industry compete with tiles?”, I got the answer above.

It is said that it will become more and more difficult to recruit people in traditional industries in the future, and it is best to start preparing for automation and digitization as early as possible. I get the same answer. In the Internet age, most of the business models in the past were B2B-based. We must start to cultivate the ability of enterprises to communicate with the outside world. Still got the same answer.

When I got the same response repeatedly, I began to seriously review whether I was really wrong. Why is it so difficult to change an industry or business? Why can’t you do it when you know it? This kind of head can understand, how is the state of being unable to cooperate with actions caused?

When I returned to the factory system and re-observed from the role of the insider, I found that some things were indeed beyond the imagination of outsiders.

And this article is to let you who start to feel that “this company (or industry) has no future” know that before shouting “run away”, there are actually some career survival skills that can be learned from these environments arrive.

There are two reasons why companies or industries are difficult to change.

  1. The ability and willingness to take risks is getting lower and lower.
  2. The professional division of labor in the work environment makes people rigid. (It can also be said to indulge in the comfort zone)

The more mature the more limited

The ability and willingness of an organization to take risks is getting lower and lower. One situation is that because the long-term supply and demand of the industry is stable, the organization has grown to a certain level, and a decision often affects the whole body. In the end, it becomes a state where you can’t even pull a shot.

As long as a factory has a fixed production line, sometimes even if it can be technically supported, it cannot adjust the production line to respond to the market. The main reason is that although the profit of emerging products is high, the output is too small. The larger the process equipment or manufacturing capacity, the more difficult it is to do such small batch production.

Another similar situation is to apply existing products to new applications, but because it is too time-consuming to adjust process parameters or equipment adjustments, the cost is not cost-effective when the demand is too small.

I have encountered some start-up brands or personal studios, and felt that the industry was not friendly to start-ups, and complained that the society did not support products with good design and quality. In fact, it’s just that the order volume and the factory’s production capacity cannot match.

For a while, both public and private sectors flocked to set up “prototyping centers” or “maker spaces”. The reason why it ended hastily was because if it was 3D printing of plastic materials, it might not meet the strength required by the final exhibit, and the price of metal 3D printing was too high.

If it is a maker space with traditional metal processing machines, outsiders are generally not allowed to operate the machines for safety reasons. An administrator who can really operate all kinds of machinery and tools can also assist designers to make small batches of products, and can also give suggestions on design changes for mass production. The profitability of a small prototyping center or makerspace simply cannot afford to support such people.

So these spaces had no choice but to come to an end. Therefore, for a mature product or industry, plus a complete production plant, the production model is actually much more limited than we imagined.

The market is changing, people don’t want to change

When we enter a company, we will sign a work contract. Usually the work contract will specify the department, position, salary structure, personnel regulations, etc. you will enter the factory.

Especially in an environment like a factory, this means that you are likely to do repetitive work to earn remuneration during your next job. As you go from novice to veteran, the efficiency of earning compensation on behalf of you for doing the same thing gets better and better.

At this time, if the company wants to change any part of the work content, it will definitely suffer a backlash of varying degrees.

It is also possible that you, as the boss, have observed the changing trend of the market, but the customers in your hands have not changed. Once you want to develop a new product, but the master craftsman in the factory laughs and says, “How can you make money by doing this?” or “Who do you want to sell this to?”

Whether employees or employers, everyone must want to do the same job, make the same product, and make the same money. The reality is that even shipping companies are still affected by the boom, and the general market is changing at an ever-increasing rate.

When I first came out of society, the timetable for laptop development was shortened from one year to 10 months, and I heard that it was further shortened to 6 months. Smartphones had just come out at that time, and after the Android system joined the fray, even Apple released new phones every year.

Symptoms of a business on the verge of collapse

According to my observation, lack of recruits in traditional industries cannot actually be used as an indicator of whether an industry has entered the sunset. It is recommended to look at the status of a single enterprise first.

If the profitability of an enterprise begins to shrink, it will probably gradually reduce expenses from the following parts in order: [product research and development → equipment update → equipment maintenance → plant space → indirect personnel → direct personnel]

If you find that the company starts to save even consumable parts for equipment maintenance, you should start to be vigilant.

At this time, there is no need to rush to submit your resignation letter. It is recommended to take advantage of this time to develop skills and start looking for new industries or companies. At this stage, there will definitely be many crises in the current company. You can take this time to test your tolerance to stress and crisis handling ability, and it can also be used as a special experience in the next workplace.

If the company is planning to relocate but has no plans to expand production capacity, it is time to prepare for resignation. Because the next step is to reduce personnel costs by using one person as three people. It may also happen that no overtime pay can be reported.

Signs of an industry on the verge of collapse

So if the industry is about to collapse, what will happen?

If the things mentioned above have already happened, the industry will probably have the following phenomena:

First of all, small factories in the industry will quickly go out of business or merge. If no one picks it up, it will close the stall, and if someone picks it up, it will buy some equipment or factory buildings (or land) that are ready to be sold to the same industry. It can be linked from what I have observed in a single company. Many small and medium-sized operators in the industry began to deal with plant equipment and land without successors, so other players began to take over these production equipment or plant space. As a result, the industry has consolidated.

The next stage is that the largest manufacturers in the industry with the largest output and prices based on volume will collapse first. At this time, the industry is already very dangerous, and it is very likely that the main technology and market will be transferred abroad. This means that the industry’s technology is very mature, mature enough that it does not need to be kept secret. However, the products produced have matured to the point where the gross profit is too low, so low that it cannot survive without being transferred to a country with relatively cheap manpower and environmental protection regulations.

In the end, the entire industry is left with a single-digit number of companies operating, and there may be one or two that survive as cultural businesses. By this time, the industry can be said to exist in name only.

If you really feel that the company or industry you work in has no future

Although life is very long, unless you want to collect the process of an industry’s decline and use it as a creative material. Otherwise, it is not recommended to wait until the company starts to reduce the production base.

Even at this point, it is optimistically estimated that a company should still have a period of 5 to 10 years of tranquility care. If the company really loses money, the boss will usually take the company away in two years, and most of them will not persist.

Although changing jobs from an industry that is ready to leave class is tantamount to a direct job change. There are still ways for you to stay in a company or industry with an unfavorable future and still maintain your market competitiveness. It is to ask yourself in every position, “What are the core skills of this job?” “Who is this job most valuable to?”

If you can’t find a core skill in your work, you don’t know who it is valuable to. Either you really don’t like the job, or it’s what they call a ” shit job .”

If you are really in such an unfortunate situation, then run away.

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