The Job Security Myth

March 9, 2017

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.

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.

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 vacation… 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 a 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 to 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.

What do you think?

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