The Illusion of Job Security
Job security was something I was raised to attain.
I was raised to be an employee to work for a father-like company that would take care of me. After 30 or 40 years there, I would retire and ride off into the sunset.
Job security is something that used to just happen. Now, it is something many of you pursue but the reality is that the concept of job security is just an illusion.
Let me tell you about …
I started to work with Susan a couple of years ago as the company she was working for was coming apart. The owners of the business were feuding. She had reached a point in her life that she wanted stability and some real guarantees. She wanted to work for someone who offered a pension.
Sounds like a Leave to Beaver episode from the 1960s.
She decided to pursue a position at a large state university following my targeted job search strategy. After an 18-month search, she landed her dream job or so she thought. I even wrote about Susan’s job search in a case study.
The position that Susan had landed would be stable with a pension and she thought she finally had job security.
But it was all an illusion.
After the first month of her new job had passed, Susan was really questioning whether she could do the job as the pace of work was fast, and there were job requirements that were not discussed during the interview process besides the fact that Susan did not have the technical skills required.
Three Month Review
Susan received her three-month review and no concerns were raised but Susan was drinking from a firehose. She assumed that she would just have to keep working hard and things would get easier.
They did not!
Six Month Review
Susan went to her boss’ office where she was informed that she was to be let go. Her boss told her that they saw that she was not able to keep up AND that the workload was going to increase. Her boss was willing to write a letter of recommendation.
Susan was the not the first, but the second, casualty from this position. The previous person they hired was let go as well.
A sense of relief came over Susan as she walked to her car with her personal belongings. The job had stressed her to her limits. She then realized that the job security she thought she had was all an illusion.
From the beginning, she was set up to fail, just as the previous hire had been.
Susan has learned an invaluable lesson. There is no job security—it is all an illusion. You always have to be prepared with a plan to move on. You should always have a Plan B.
Susan is preparing for another career pivot with a new realization that there is no job security.
Has this happened to you?
To read the rest of the Targeted Job Search series click here.Marc Miller
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Will Thomson says
You should always have a plan B. You are right.
Yes – this happened to me in Infosys Technologies.
While an expectation of working in coordination with “Offshore” (read India) based colleagues was informed, no extra pay was offered for such work.
My Tuesday’s schedule was typically from 630 am to 11 pm with one-on-one calls taken on a blue tooth during my 40 minutes-each-way-driving-commute.
When I was given my boxes at the end of 2 years, my response was, “I’m relieved!”