There was a time when the safe and responsible career choice was to find a job in a large organisation.

The larger the better.

Preferably in banking, insurance, utilities or perhaps even the public service.

You had a job for life.

The work may have been largely anonymous and what you did wasn’t that important or life-changing, but if you went in every day, punched the clock and repeated the process for years and perhaps even decades, you were safe and received a steady paycheck.

Of course, there were the occasional renegades who worked for a fringe organisation or perhaps were even reckless enough to start their own business.

People from the large companies looked at the renegades and couldn’t believe how irresponsible they were.

“Don’t they know that there are no accruing sick leave benefits when you run your own business?”  they would ask in disbelief.

Then something changed.

Phrases like “down-sizing” and “redundancies” entered the corporate lexicon.

Doing more with less became the aim of every manager and the large organisation is no longer a stable place to work.

Whole generations of employees have been cast aside in the aim for increased profits and decreased overheads.

Meanwhile, even in the midst of dire economic times, another significant change has been taking place.

Small and micro-businesses are thriving.

Especially the adaptable ones who are able to respond to changing market conditions and can sniff out a profitable niche for themselves.

Everything has turned upside down.

Large and conservative is no longer safe and responsible, but small and dynamic is.

Has the world gone mad?

Or has it finally got it right.

In past generations, the safe and responsible option too often meant going through the motions and failing to fully maximise your potential.

Now it means working with passion and innovation and utilising your unique skills to solve challenging problems.

I meet a lot of people who complain about the loss of the safe and responsible career option.

I just think that they’re either looking in the wrong place or are too afraid to give the new choice a try.

What do you think?

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