Job security is a sought after commodity. One thinks that when they have achieved “job security,” they no longer have to worry about their career. They are locked in.
The truth of the matter is quite different. It should be a sin to think job security exists.
You can think your job is secure. But then, circumstances change — all of which are out of your control. You wake up one morning and your company has been bought out by another (this has happened to me three times). Your secure job just got thrown out the window.
Or the business you’re in decides to move in a different direction. You’re doing some type of work and now you’re not. You have this management practice with the people and the infrastructure set up to run it and then management decides to change to that management approach. And just like that, your job is gone.
Security means to be safe. Job security, it follows, means being safe in your job. Companies, though, when they talk about job security at all usually talk about getting your job security only if you agree to do something different.
Usually not something different that is to your advantage either. Cut your pay, keep your job. Eliminate these benefits, keep your job. Work this different shift, keep your job.
Job security talk is really talk about fear. When you’re dealing with fear, you really are not talking about security.
Time goes on. They job you are in can only be stable — secure — for so long before something else comes along. I call it the “5% unemployment, 75% corporate churn” syndrome. Corporations constantly reorganize themselves. Every time a new executive comes in, the the chances the company gets reorganized is very high. The nice, safe job you thought you had just got reorganized into something not very safe at all.
Once the reorganization happens, your manager changes, your team members change, your work goals change. It’s not the same.
The only way around the job security conundrum is this: build employment security for yourself. That means keeping your job skills up to date, perform well on your job, network with your coworkers and others to stay abreast of your industry, learn how to do a job search, and have enough money in the bank so you can never get to a position of desperation about taking a job.
But the right answer.