Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Monday, November 21, 2011

Does Job Security Matter to You?

Guest Post from Simon Stapleton:

It feels like our jobs have been under threat for years… doesn’t it? With the recession starting back in 1998 with no improvement since, job security is something that many of us are feeling unsure about. How do you feel?

Take a look at this table of top ten jobs of 2010 in the US (from CNN). Note the top job roles, and levels of perceived job security. Then take a look at the table from the year before. Spot the differences? You’ll see a major drop in job security figures in 2010 from 2009, and a whole different set of top ten jobs. So how will it look this year, do you think? (I’ll announce when the figures are published, so follow my RSS feed!) I doubt, very much, there will be any improvement. Looks scary, don’t it?

But wait.
Earlier in the year, I wrote What Is Job Security (and does it really exist?) Job security is very dependent on our own outlook. It’s a feeling, connected with emotions, and it’s subjective. We won’t be told not to worry.
Job security can’t be given to us. We gotta feel it.

If the economy were to suddenly bounce back, would that change our sense of job security? Probably, but not directly. First, we’d need to believe that a fixed economy actually results in more assurance that our jobs are safe. The responsibility will still be ours.

It will still matter.

Adjusting our Perception
We’re all being subjected to a heap of news full of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). TV, blogs… it’s everywhere. I’m having the odd sleepless night about it – are you? But here’s the thing – the ‘soothsayers’ who broadcast the FUD are only giving us a macro-level view – stuff that concerns the global, national, state or city-wide problem.

Your own particular situation, however, is unique to you. We gotta look at that too.

Our sense of job security is rooted in the work we do, the value we create, the skills we possess and the opportunities we can grasp. These things matter too – and much more than what we see on CNN. So look harder at them.

Take an objective view:

  • Understand what your work does in your organization, and its impact on it
  • Identify the skills you have, and not just the ones you write on your resume
  • Identify the opportunities you have – whether you’re taking them or not
  • Think about the journey you have been on since you began your career, and how far you have come
  • Spend a little time jotting them down.

I am 100% confident that you will feel better about your situation afterwards. This ‘taking stock’ is a reminder that there is more to job security than news tells us. Job security DOES matter. And because it matters to us, it’s within our control.

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