The Job Security Myth

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I do not believe in job secu­ri­ty. Yes, cre­at­ing income is part of being an adult—but there’s a myth that you need to secure a “real job” to take care of your fam­i­ly and future.

[guestpost]I am writ­ing this post for peo­ple who believe they need to work a hor­ri­ble job, or get a “real job”—instead of doing things they real­ly want to do. If you love your job, you’re prob­a­bly will­ing to put up with some of the ‘crap’ that comes with every job. If you hate your job and wish you had more joy work­ing, check this out.[/guestpost]

When I say “real job,” I’m talk­ing about the typ­i­cal jobs accept­ed by soci­ety. Accoun­tants, doc­tors, teach­ers and engi­neers are all jobs peo­ple “approve of” if brought up in con­ver­sa­tion. They’ll always be need­ed and pay enough to make a liv­ing. (sup­pos­ed­ly)

Jobs come and go

I don’t believe jobs are real­ly secure. At any moment a busi­ness could col­lapse. It has hap­pened over and over again. Ama­zon is here today, but Jeff Bezos knows it won’t be around for­ev­er. The secu­ri­ty of work does­n’t lie in a com­pa­ny or role, it lies in you—as a person—not the job.

Do these things... and...uh... be happy?

The myth of job secu­ri­ty is that if you do this series of spe­cif­ic things, you will be safe. The list is some­thing like: do good on your SATs… apply to good col­leges… get good grades… make con­nec­tions… apply to work at a good com­pa­ny… get full-time income and ben­e­fits… work when the man says (usu­al­ly 8a-5p)… take your vaca­tions… get paid… have a con­sis­tent pay­check. Mon­days suck... week­ends are awe­some...

It’s a myth because the only per­son you’ll make hap­py is every­one else. You’ll have some mon­ey. But you’ll feel trapped.

This view is old school (not in the good way). It’s the easy way out. This is the path of least resis­tance that leaves you feel­ing emp­ty, unval­ued, frus­trat­ed, and tired. This view does­n’t val­ue your poten­tial to be cre­ative.

Wait­ing to get hired, or told what to do is the old way of doing things. The path for­ward is show­ing moti­va­tion. Show­ing effort. Lev­el­ing up.

The secret to true job security is making yourself indispensable.

If you make your­self indis­pens­able, you can guar­an­tee that no mat­ter where you live and how old you are, you will ALWAYS have some­one will­ing to hire you.

What do I mean by indis­pens­able? I mean go above and beyond. Do every­thing you can that is best for the project. Make your­self invalu­able. Have a “what­ev­er it takes” men­tal­i­ty. Serve oth­ers. Don’t have rigid bound­aries. Come up with ideas that may not work. Don’t be sad if your idea doesn’t win. Show up ear­ly. Leave when you have to. Pri­or­i­tize your fam­i­ly. Demon­strate kind­ness and a good atti­tude. Be real.

Secure jobs don’t exist

Secure jobs do not exist any­more. It used to be true that if you could learn a spe­cif­ic skill, you could find a job at a com­pa­ny and work there for the rest of your life. But these jobs are either being replaced by tech­nol­o­gy or going over­seas. (Read Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brain­ers Will Rule the Future to learn more.) In most cas­es, that’s a smart move for the com­pa­nies in charge. If a com­put­er can do your role faster and with more accu­ra­cy, the com­put­er wins. If some­one over­seas is will­ing to do your role for an 1/8th of the pay and have a bet­ter atti­tude about the work, I’d pre­fer the over­seas per­son. (If you’re hon­est, wouldn’t you? It’s not only bet­ter finan­cial­ly, it pro­vides a bet­ter end result.)

Interchangeable people

You may have heard some­thing like “every­one is replace­able.” If you leave your posi­tion, some­one else can fill it. Many jobs have inter­change­able roles filled with inter­change­able peo­ple. Peo­ple aren’t tru­ly val­ued. They need to show up, do their work, col­lect the pay.

For me, this is depress­ing. I don’t want to believe that every­one is eas­i­ly replace­able. I want to believe each per­son has a prof­itable per­spec­tive, unique per­son­al­i­ty, and valu­able approach. I enjoy when peo­ple do things dif­fer­ent­ly and see things with fresh eyes.

Secure people

Instead of believ­ing in job secu­ri­ty, I believe in peo­ple-secu­ri­ty. I believe that peo­ple who pos­sess strong skills not tied to a spe­cif­ic orga­ni­za­tion have the abil­i­ty to always have work, regard­less of their posi­tion, employ­er, loca­tion, and etc.

True “job secu­ri­ty” is know­ing that YOU, the per­son have skills that any com­pa­ny would KILL to have.

If you pos­sess the abil­i­ty to be INDISPENSABLE, you’ll guar­an­tee your­self a job for life.

Options for you to consider:

  1. Quit your cur­rent job and do some­thing you love instead.
  2. Start hav­ing a bet­ter atti­tude at your cur­rent job.
  3. Make your­self indis­pens­able at your cur­rent job.

[reminder]What do you think?[/reminder]

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