When Mrs Thatcher famously declared “there is no such thing as society” during her premiership, this was generally seen as a distasteful or even shocking remark. However, in this, as in many other aspects of her political vision, she proved to be ahead of her time. While most senior staff in local government believe absolutely in society, in the world of work there is a growing trend for staff to see their careers as being separate and distinct from their employer. Jobs for life are out, and ‘Me plc’ is in.
This may be an effective and motivating way of looking at your career in terms of ‘going for it’ and striving to be as dynamic and effective as possible. But this is also a term which appears to make the assumption that self-interest rules and colleagues are stepping stones to future success.
On the other hand, it is certainly worth spending time and money on training, as well as taking on new projects with the aim of boosting your employability. It makes sense to take control of your career and commit yourself to life-long learning. Or in other words, to invest in ‘Me plc’.
So should local government staff see themselves in this way? Perhaps the answer is to use heavy inverted commas at all times. The expression ‘Me plc’ should only be used ironically.