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2.6 Advice Toward Early Retirement

As mentioned before, a written appointment as a trial employee is handed by the president only to a representative of new employees at an initiation ceremony. The period of trial employment is the process of initiation in transition. New employees are in an unsettled condition and a line is drawn between them and the regular employees. After completing a 2–3 week training course, each new employee is assigned an actual position. During this period, new employees wear green badges.

Morita advised the employees to retire as soon as possible if they felt themselves not suited to the Sony company or found their lives at Sony not worth living or their jobs not rewarding. This advice was given based on the judgment that early retirement is helpful for individual happiness and company management. This point was invariably included in Morita's address at the initiation ceremony.

In his last address in 1993, Morita even characterized the period of trial employment as the “period when you make a trial of the company.” Though this expression was sometimes used prior to this instance, an individual-centered viewpoint as opposed to a company-centered viewpoint is distinctive. In addition, he repeated his opinion: good fortune must be generated for yourselves. A wrong choice must be corrected so as not to be regretted later. You should change your job early even though re-employment is difficult.

Morita paradoxically advised to retire early for the reason that only those employees who found their lives at Sony worth living and their jobs rewarding should remain. Of course, it is natural for Sony in a highly competitive industry of rapidly advancing technology to require a person who has a good mind to work to defeat its rivals. His advice is characterized by giving priority to personal choice over the company.

Morita said that he was anxious for a person at retirement to judge that it was fortunate to have devoted the most valuable days in his life to Sony. Morita's desire was that a new employee will not regret his/her personal decision to work for Sony until retirement as a choice in life. Attention should be paid to the fact that Morita referred to retirement but not to retirement under the age limit.

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