Security? We Don’t Need Your Stinkin’ Security!

When are you going to get THE AXE?What is job security, anyway? Whether you think you’ll find it from an employer or from owning your own business, realize you have work to do! You can’t ignore some basics. I’m not talking about the simple “do-it-once” answers like get a good education. I’m talking about stuff to do daily like working on your personal brand and networking. Seriously, I’m fired up about this! Why? Check out an e-mail from a buddy in Pennsylvania who just got laid off:

[I was] relatively surprised. I thought we were moving forward, but apparently not in the direction that my management wanted. The boss who hired me was fired about 3 months ago and her boss had kind of been after me (my former boss and I were on the same page…). When he recently restructured the department, I think he sent the message to my new boss that he wanted to see some changes. This after I was killing myself with 60-70 hour weeks and trying to provide all the info they wanted. Oh well…there will be something else out there I hope.

I met Dave last year after he started using JibberJobber for his job search. I remember getting the e-mail that he got a dream job, at an awesome company! I was so happy for him (after all, he didn’t something I wasn’t able to do – get a job :))!! And just a few months later, after “killing himself with 60-70 hour weeks” he’s out on the street, looking again.

Look folks, here’s the deal. There is no job security! YOU need to take care of your career, not just your job! Do you find yourself doing any career stuff, outside of your job? Don’t have time? Fine – you’ll have plenty of time since a job search can take so long. Trust me, start doing a little every day, and it will add up. Do not wait until you are terminated to get moving. A little big-picture career stuff every day will go a long way.

I asked Dave what he learned from this experience – here’s what he wants to share with us:

  1. Even though your research shows the company with sound results, spend extra time in your interview to understand the real drivers. In my case, cash was very tight. The expectations were for each month to be like a quarter end. All the “testimony” about being a highly regarded company to work for, went out the window in the push for cash.
  2. Try to understand the political drivers as well as you can. The person who hired me was gone in 3 months. Unfortunately, I was connected with this individual and the future became the past pretty quickly.
  3. Don’t underestimate how fast things can change these days. Reorganizations are occurring within 6 months at this time…what seems like a “secure” position can become very shaky, very quickly.
  4. Remain optimistic, no matter what. I am looking at this as a good thing. It helps you grow and helps you to understand what is really important to you (balance in life vs. career, etc.)

I can’t say it better or different. Now, if any of you know of a position for a supply chain expert in Pennsylvania shoot me an e-mail (Jason at JibberJobber dot com), I’ll forward it on to him.

And spend at least 5 minutes today doing something for your career.

9 thoughts on “Security? We Don’t Need Your Stinkin’ Security!”

  1. Excellent advice!

    The minute that I gave up on security, I felt much better. I kept feeling betrayed every time a company I worked for started to go under and I needed to start looking again.

    Knowing that the only security is what I can provide is such a freeing thought!

  2. Not only do I agree wiht every word, but I think it is also important to note that this is okay even if you love your job and your employer. It is not disloyal to build these relationships. The relationships that will put you in a job if you ever need one are the SAME relationships that bring you insight, connections, and word of mouth to benefit your current emplyer as well. It’s a win win. You benefit now, your current employer benefits, you benefit in the future as you look for work, and unless you are a complete social misfit the people you are building relationships with are benefitting as well.

    It’s like having your cake, eating it too, and then having a hostess truck become so distracted by your eating that it crashes into a pole, and spiils out free twinkies and ding dongs for you and all of your friends!

  3. Great post and great point!

    This is why the modern worker is “always on the market”. A lot of folks flinch when I tell ’em that because they think their company will find out.

    I tell em, “You should be hoping and praying that your company finds out your resume is out everywhere and always being updated. If they claim ignorance about the way business changes on a dime, you’ll be needing that resume sooner than you think.

    Otherwise, you’re a guy who is staying *because you want to*, not because you don’t have enough other opportunities. Those kind of people need to be treated well.”


  4. This is happening almost in every country, where the drivers of the commerce are real strong and on the go. The space in some of these Asian countries is so hot now, the local talent has priced it self out off it. Consequently expats are wooed right into the middle management levels too. Precisely the reason why Out sourcing or off shoring is happening. One needs to be balanced and tempered in her appreciation of her own skills and the job market she is in.

    Yes. When the company that you are associated with is looking for it’s survival without giving a thought to her, it is only right that she should lookout for herself.

    Yes. She should spend time to strengthen her own career everyday.

  5. Wow, cool thread — and SO relevant!

    Bottom-line is that you need to have an idea of what your next job will be as you are entering your new job! Sounds nuts, but really isn’t.

    1) Each new position should fit into your strategic career plan, so knowing what comes next in your planning is elemental.

    2) Having a couple of “back-up” ideas with associated contacts is the new security — and fits in with your strategic career plan.

    3) Working your plan while you work your work is critical. Don’t be lulled into throwing all your energy into the new job — save some effort and momentum for your concurrent career building — becoming “visible / viable / valuable’ — the hunted not the hunter — a resource and thought leader.

    Over the years I’ve worked with far too many panicked clients who gave 150% of their time and energy to their companies and none to their careers. These folks were top execs in their companies — all the internal players knew them, but outside they were “faceless not famous.” So when the inevitable happened (C-level tenures are trending 18-48 months depending upon position), it was emotionally and financially devastating.

    Today’s workers need to get “famous” where it counts — outside corporate walls — and never, ever forget internal/external business and personal contacts. They alone are career security, solace, support, and salvation.

  6. Great advice but where do you start each day? I have had two major companies close on me and then I was laid off from my “dream job” after 6 years. Now I have a great job again but have learned to not rely on security. I got this job from networking which is a great story on its own. What advice do you have for me to keep my network active. I don’t want to seem like I don’t like my current job. How do you get the word out and become “famous?”

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