JOB SECURITY

Much like everything else, Job security isn’t what it used to be. Individuals hardly maintain the same job for 20-30 years anymore. Job security is defined as the probability that an individual will keep their job; a job with a high level of job security is such that a person with the job would have a small chance of becoming unemployed. In today’s economic and innovative climate, you’re considered a veteran if you hold a position for 10+ years.

The typical narrative for success and job security has always begun with good grades, a successful university career and a healthy respect for authority. Vocational training and career advice maintains hard work and patience are the key to a long, successful career. As you have undoubtedly come to realise, the requirements for job security now extend beyond these two values.  Ahead of you is a long and arduous career journey  surrounded by an unhealthy level of of competition in a very noisy marketplace. Arguably, job security no longer exists or economic strife has least accelerated the average career development timeline and shortened job viability.

Governments and individuals are understandably motivated to achieve higher levels of job security. Governments attempt to do this by passing laws which make it illegal to fire employees for certain reasons while individuals can influence their degree of job security by enhancing their skillset through education and experience, or by moving to a more favourable location. Unions also strongly influence job security. Jobs that traditionally have a strong union presence like as government jobs jobs in education, healthcare and public service  are considered very secure while many non-unionised private sector jobs are generally believed to offer lower job security; although this varies by industry and country.

Basic economic theory holds that during periods of economic expansion businesses experience increased demand, which in turn necessitates investment in more capital or labour. When businesses are experiencing growth, job confidence and security usually increase. The opposite often holds true during a recession. Businesses experience reduced demand and look to downsize their workforce. And this is exactly what we’re currently experiencing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers are experiencing uncertainty over job security as well as their ability to secure paid leave if required to self-isolate. The insecurity particularly impacts casual workers who do not have the same entitlements as full time workers. 

The main idea in maintaining job security would be to make yourself invaluable – not only to your current employer, but to future employers as well. Try to learn new skills and adapt to changing markets. It’s all about self-awareness. Stay positive and find helpful ways to cope with the psychological pressures of job insecurity because your willingness to adapt to change makes all the difference.  Keep an eye out for opportunities with other organisations in your industry, too. It does no harm to know what’s available, and it’s not disloyal to make contingency plans for possible shifts in your career. Be sure to keep your resume up to date so that you’re always prepared to apply for new positions that may come up. And, if you can, save some money, so you don’t have to worry about paying your bills straight away if you do lose your job. That way, you can focus on the positive, not on doubt and uncertainty.

Whereas if you’re an employer, you’ll want your company to maintain a positive reputation for job security. A stellar brand as an employer will improve you bottom line, quality of employees available to you, your position in the marketplace and positive engagement from your workforce. Keep insecurity low by focusing on quality rather than quantity in your employment practices. It’s important to hire people who will multiply the value of your company offering so in economic downturn, almost every employee is essential. This may sound idealistic – and it probably is however, minimising ‘dead weight’ and loss is basic economic theory for a successful outcome. Put measures in place to mitigate disruptions like workplace insurance, severance packages and financial buffers. Therefore, even if you have to make hard decisions your employer brand is secure.

Let us know in the comments what your concerns and solutions are!

Check out: The Ultimate Guide to Re-Opening your Office during Covid-19

Mshimba Michelle

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