I saw The Company Men and loved it. Three men from three different tiers of the same corporation who’ve been given the pink slip have three different outcomes. One has a golden parachute but questions the morality of his profession.
The second realizes he’s utterly worthless without his job and too old to compete with college graduates willing to do the same work for less pay.
The other comes to grips with his pride and lack of interaction with his family. Based on these realities, they all make decisions that help them face “the humbling” that has occurred.
Do I have sympathy for any of these men? I do. Somewhere, deep down inside, I have a desire to live that kind of life—to put on a tailored suit (again), make 6 figures (for once—or twice..or on retainer) and help others make more money to advance whatever their company’s mission is.
But I’ve finally accepted that’s not my lot in life. Creating a consultancy for monetary gain, vs. sustaining a ministry for social good is a tension I’ll probably always be faced with.
Because, I have great ideas. And I know how to strategize, network and implement those ideas. But I also have a desire to teach and give advice that doesn’t increase revenue but incites a revolution—at least an internal one on an individual a basis.
This movie is worth a watch to figure out which type of person you are and how you handle failure and major adjustments. One didn’t handle it so well. Another wasn’t willing to change his trajectory, just the ethics behind it. Another finally accepted his lot in life in working what first seemed like a “lower” position, and just when he got settled in, he was called back into the corporate fold—but now he has a new perspective.
So..which company man are you?