Job Security?

The first thing to realize about job security: there is no such thing!

No company owes anyone a job. The only thing owed are the wages we agreed to for the work we “previously performed.” It is our responsibility, not a company (or government, a previous post) to ensure our income remains stable and grows over time.

Since there is no such thing as job security what we can do is strive for security in our “employability.” And, if/when we realize our current role / job isn’t cutting it (now and/or for the long term) we can either move up or move out! That is, we have options.

When the dot-com bubble burst companies in this space were forced to downsize (some of which vanished from the economic scene). The company I worked for was an example of this. We were in the painful position of having to slash headcount (repeatedly, month-over-month). In fact, the company no longer exists. One day in which layoffs were occurring I entered the elevator, joining another gentleman on his ride to the next floor. He asked: “Are the layoffs over?” I replied: “As far as I know.” His response, as he wiped his brow: “Phew. I NEVER make it through layoffs.

Now, I really do have a heart. And, I absolutely HATE layoffs. Hopefully, this guy has looked in the mirror and realized he is the common denominator. It is no company’s fault that he “never makes it through layoffs.

If a ship is sinking, what is thrown overboard? Any and all cargo not absolutely essential to the safety of the crew and passage of the vessel. And, as the ship continues to sink the captain must dig deeper and deeper for cargo to toss.

In business when there is a downturn requiring the unfortunate situation of performing layoffs, a common approach taken by management is the ranking of employees into categories:

  • A – An absolute high performer / keeper until the very last
  • B – A reasonable performer / keeper for this round
  • C – Persons the firm can get along without

Our goal, if we want a stable and growing income, is to be an “A” or at least a “B” player. If we fall into the “C” category then we can expect to be jettisoned first, during a downturn…

Yes, there may be examples of dirt-bag managers, favoritism, even scandalous situations. I’m in no way condoning or making excuses for these “exceptions.”

As individuals, what we can do is improve (take full ownership of) our own situation. It simply takes hard work, ongoing growth, self-discipline, maintaining a positive attitude, doing the best job possible regardless of pay and determination. And, if the current company or department within the company we work for doesn’t offer more promising prospects we can move up or move out.

To continuously secure our “employability” (with our current company and/or to become highly attractive to would-be employers) we can put ourselves through / remain in our own continuous improvement process.

It starts with a decision.

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

And, for those considering the decision to seek new frontiers (job hunting and/or career change), the following book offers outstanding insight, guidance and advice.

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By taking action we can enjoy the process and security of “employability!”

3 thoughts on “Job Security?

  1. Michael says:

    This particular blog hits very close to home right now. I work for a company who treats us well as far as monetary compensation goes. I believe I’m an “A” level employee and other supervisors tend to agree. My manager went as far to say that I would be irreplaceable during a job reference. Come to find out that was to sabotage the possibility of me moving on, but that is another story for another time. I’ve been with this company for several years with promise to move up and onwards, only to find out that I am a puppet on strings when the opportunity comes along. I decided it was time to move on. Monetary compensation was a loss for me but all other needs at this point are being met. I couldn’t be happier about my choice!!!

  2. Craig Bailey says:

    Michael – I am SO proud of you. You clearly have demonstrated what I’m trying to communicate here: we have choices. If our current situation isn’t working out we can take action. While you may (in this case) be taking a “short term” hit, I have faith in you and the fact that it will pay off in the long term! Congrats!!!

  3. […] a prior post I wrote about being secure in our “employability” vs. the notion of job security […]

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