Job Security: Everything You Need to Know
Job security is the secure (or insecure) feeling an employee has about the future of their gainful employment; high job security means that the individual feels their risks of unemployment are minimal. 8 min read
Job security is the secure (or insecure) feeling an employee has about the future of their gainful employment; high job security means that the individual feels their risks of unemployment are minimal. Job security raises or lowers depending on several factors, including the economy, contract of employment, labor laws preventing unfair termination, collective bargaining agreement, lockouts, and layoffs.
Further Defining Job Security
The feeling of job security increases amongst employees when economic expansion occurs, while it declines during recessions. Job security also often slumps when a person has a high probability of losing their work position. The prominent view is that job security is lower amongst the private sector than the public sector, with the latter including jobs in:
- Health care
- Law enforcement
With a currently capitalist system and the U.S. government’s role in business being limited, job security across the country relies more on the state of economy and business than may be the case elsewhere in the world. As job supply and depend is based on the economy, job security changes a lot across the United States.
Companies Offering Job Security
If you like your job, it’s nice to feel it is secure and reliable, as well as providing you enough pay to live comfortably. For this reason, job security is high on the list for many job seekers. A recent report from Indeed.com, a worldwide network for jobs and career info, revealed which companies rank highest for the job security they provide employees.
To formulate the list of companies with the best job security, Indeed.com analyzed the businesses in its database that had a minimum 100 job security reviews from employees at those organizations. On a scale of 1 to 5, the rating would be highest at 5. But an even more important finding related to how high job applicants placed job security.
The statistics were based on 1,000 users surveyed. Indeed.com found that over 40 percent of the 1,000 users they surveyed earlier that year considered job security amongst their more important factors in their job search. Compensation came first on the priority list; next were health benefits and job location. Job security took fourth place.
The high rating of job security for many people has led many companies to provide ample benefits and training initiatives as ways to help bolster job security and feelings of purposefulness in their employees. Of the companies that Indeed.com found ranked highly, they included organizations where employees felt valued and provided a sense of work role security within the business.
Job Security is Dead, and Here’s Why That’s Awesome
Reasons some people view job security as being dead or non-existent anymore are:
- Many people have a job that enables them to live comfortably and are paid more than “living wage” through alternative means that don’t require a company gives them a regular paycheck
- Companies can lay off people whenever they like, whether it be one person, a few, or several at a time
- Young people, between the ages of 24-34, typically only spend about three years with a company, as per the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is in comparison to older workers, who have spent about 10 years with a company. Times are obviously changing.
- With the freelance economy growing quickly, job stability (making a living in your chosen area through alternative means) can replace job security working at a certain business
- Becoming an entrepreneur is simpler than ever, especially with platforms like Kickstarter to raise funds and sites like Etsy to sell products or Fiverr to sell services
- Access to learning materials abounds online, often free, and is key to creating startups as it helps you adapt to new situations and surroundings
- Some companies offer programs that make every employee a certain type of leader within it. Doing so empowers workers and encourages employee-driven companies
- Businesses are redefining what it means to be a leader
- Businesses are also providing new approaches to innovation and many organizations welcome modern techniques
- The best approach depends on the unique attributes of each company
- Just because your organization has been operating a certain way for so long does not mean it is necessarily the best approach; success might be attainable by changing certain facets of the organization, and this is better done sooner than later as “late adopters” can fall behind to the point that their businesses fold
Coping with Uncertainty
One workplace is where some people have spent their whole career. Others have only been employed by a few different companies. They are unlikely to be government employees, are probably over 50 years old, and have lived during an age when employer loyalty and hard work made for a comfortable living and cushy pension.
Now, with downsizing, globalization, outsourcing, recessions, and natural disasters, the term job security can seem like it no longer applies to the work environment. Those who recently enter the workforce can expect to have several jobs by retirement age. Without job security, which everyone has to deal with at least once in their life, the individual must learn how to deal with reducing stress and mental pressures to be happy in life. Of course, everyone deals differently with job security.
By being adaptable to change, having a stable home life, and money saved, you can feel and respond better to the loss of job stability than another person who does not have these attributes. While you cannot predict the future, you can make preparations to reduce your anxieties, resting easier because you’ve done what you can beforehand.
Coping with Stress
Consistent insecurity can be a major source of stress. The constant anxiety over job loss may incur serious harm to your health, perhaps even more than if you actually were to lose your work position. Staying positive is helpful. To do so involves looking at the glass as half full, rather than half empty. Look at what you have to be thankful for right now in the workplace rather than letting that feeling of insecurity running your emotions. It can be as easy as making sure you get in a laugh once a day or choosing to smile at a stranger daily. Also, remind yourself of the famous adage that when one door closes, another door opens in its place.
While being surrounded by uncertainty likely isn’t comfortable, you are in control of how you look at the situation. View it as a journey and an opportunity to start fresh or branch out to a new experience. If your skills are marketable then you have a lot to offer employers; if you lose your job, then your skills are transferable. Thus, it is vital that you update your skill set regularly, particularly with technology changing at such a fast pace.
If a lack of demand for your skills is why you feel job insecurity, start to brainstorm other ways to use your experience and knowledge. For example, if you are highly organized then you can apply this skill in new ways. If you get stressed about living in insecure times, which is a common feeling, then remember you are in the driver’s seat; the situation is within your control, and you are the person to change it. Should you fear downsizing at your workplace, take control by:
- Looking for departmental or branch transfers within the same company, if possible
- Be proactive, rather than reacting after it occurs
- Learn about areas of the company in case you can transfer later
- Enables others to express worries about their jobs too, if you work with a team
- Don’t focus on the worries so much that negativity takes over the workplace
- Retain hope and use coping mechanisms
Prove Your Worth
Do you feel uncertain where you work? To increase employment security, ensure you demonstrate to your employer the value that you hold to them. This involves doing more than just the bare minimum if you wish to keep working there. For example, stay past your set work hours some days to demonstrate to your supervisor that you are willing to put in extra work because you care about the company.
Also, stay current about your field by reading up on trends and getting related certificates. You might even want to take a class or two to enhance your business role. Also, remember that certain skills, including organization and time management, apply to any workplace.
“Brag” About Yourself
Often, people avoid boasting about their accomplishments as they fear seeming vain to others. But your boss won’t know how great a job you’re doing if you don’t tell them. Speak up about what you’ve accomplished. Rather than just saying what they are, explain the accomplishments. Also, emphasize your attributes in relation to others to give it more meaning and express how you worked as part of a team, if applicable.
Let those whom you work for know your value; show that you are flexible and also that you are committed to your work position. Then, if your boss one day has to decide between laying you off or another employee whose value is unknown, you are more likely to be the one who stays. Make that connection with your supervisor now.
Keep Your Resume Up-To-Date
A current resume is smart to have, regardless of whether you’re actively on a job hunt or not, and even if you have job security. If you lose your job without warning, you will have the resume within reach to use immediately, without having to take the time to freshen it up. You also won’t be rushing to update it at the last minute, risking creating a lower-quality resume if you make mistakes and potentially losing out on a great job because of it. You might even want to practice for interviews now and create a sheet of your recent accomplishments (in bullet point form is fine) to show a future employer and take your career to a new level.
Save Your Money
A big source of stress comes from wondering how to pay your bills if you get laid off from work unexpectedly. For this reason, people may take the first job that comes their way, even if it’s not a good fit. The best strategy is to save enough money to live 3-6 months comfortably so that you’re not rushing to take just any job if you find yourself unemployed. The savings can also go toward using resources to make the most of your future, such as trying a new field of occupation or taking some more schooling.
Other Key Points of Job Security
The reality is that many people live without job security due to the nature of the modern business world. This needn’t mean you have to be stressed or feeling down though because:
- You can take control of the situation
- Prepare yourself for future situations; you’ll get peace of mind now
- Communicate your value to your company
- Update your skills and your resume
- Build up monetary savings to reduce stress if job loss occurs
- Approach a layoff as opening the door to a new opportunity
Looking at the positive, and being an innovative thinker, can lower your stress. Approach job loss, if it results from job insecurity, as an adventure and providing new opportunities. Rather than just looking at the uncertainty around you, look at what you have going in your favor and make the most of it.
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