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Job Insecurity

In a previous post I wrote that job security is something that hardly exists anymore. But during the past week and a half I once again came under the impression of the extreme vulnerability of the job of an international sports coach.

Last week Luiz Felipe Scolari started his week like many other before as head coach of the Brazilian soccer team. Only difference is that the pressure was somewhat more because it was the week of the world cup semi-finals and Brazil the host nation.

And then on Tuesday they played their semi against Germany. Within 90 minutes Scolari’s saw how his job moved from a comfort to a danger zone. Germany scored four goals within 12 minutes to defeat Brazil 7 – 1 in their biggest loss since 1920. All of a sudden all the planning and hard work turned into a disaster before their home crowd.

Then to add insult to injury on Friday Brazil lost 3 – 0 to the Netherlands in their playoff match to decide the bronze medal winners of the tournament, once again before their home crowd. Already at this match Scolari was booed by the crowd and the next day the newspaper headlines called for Scolari’s resignation and replacement.

I read a similar story about Naka Drotské the coach of the Cheetahs Super Rugby team. Their super rugby season was not good. The previous weekend though they have beaten the Sharks, South Africa’s top ranking Super rugby team. Yet the past weekend they lost 60 – 25 to the Lions, who had to play promotion relegation games to qualify for this year’s tournament.

And on Monday the newspapers started speculating whether this defeat shouldn’t perhaps be the last straw that will bring an end to Naka Drotské’s tenure as coach of the Cheetahs.

It seems that the proverb “You are just as good as your last game” applies equally to coaches and players alike. To think you have job security when you work for a big company or because you play a pivitol role in the organisation, is a wishful dream. One coach a couple of years ago only received a fax to tell him he was relieved of his duties.

Job security in our present day economy is really not something anybody can rely on anymore. And if you are the coach of a high ranking sports team, then even ten times more so.

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