“Job Security” Is Gone. Let Me Introduce “Income Security.”

In business, cash is king. In your personal career, income security is king. Read on…

It’s no secret that “job security” is the thing of yesteryear.  The idea of having a job that is “cradle-to-grave” is an idea that only very old people can embrace… the current worker, whether they are 17 or 67, knows there is no such thing as trusting the employer to keep you around, provide you pensions and health insurance, and all of those other sweet perks our grandparents and great’s got to enjoy.

Income security is critical when if feels like you are swimming with sharks

Today it’s a dog-eat-dog, fend for your self, swim with the sharks world.  And if you think there is job security, even by that super-hot company, or the super-cool CEO, or the never-going-to-die industry, well, I’m sorry.  You are wrong.

Income Security: More Relevant than Job Security

But I’d like to think there is something else to work towards, and I call that “income security.”  I’ll define “income security” as my ability to continue producing income.  A big part of income security has to do with my ability to produce income (ie, if I have a job, and lose it, how quickly could I get re-employed?).  Another big part of income security has to do with creating multiple streams of income.

I found this cool definition of “job security” from Business Dictionary:

Assurance (or lack of it) an employee has about the continuity of gainful employment for his or her worklife. Job security usually arises from the terms of the contract of employment, collective bargaining agreement, or labor legislation that prevents arbitrary termination, layoffs, and lockouts.

Maybe income security would be defined as:

Assurance a professional has about the continuity of personal income.  Income security arises from the professional’s ability to create multiple streams of income, as well as their capability to produce new streams of income quickly.

What does income security mean to you? Does your definition include learning, or learning to learn? By the way… here are my top recommended courses.

Let this sink in a bit… tomorrow I’ll share the opinions I got when I asked about this phrase on LinkedIn, and the many different positions people took (as well as their alternative phrases, instead of “income security.”).

Quick update from 2022: 

I have thought about this post a lot since I first wrote it. Two things stick out to me:

First, I remember I got a lot of kickback on this simple phrase because a lot of people thought I was talking about income securities, which sounds like something a financial advisor would talk to you about when you ask what to do with your wealth. Or, something the SEC would be concerned with.

I love the phrase, though. It is a play on “job security,” and I really, really want to replace the idea of “job” with “ability to earn income,” and I didn’t want to get rid of the “security” part of it.

So, even though I got a lot of kickback, I stuck with it.

Second, I have written a lot more about multiple streams of income, and the whole idea of creating income security, than I thought I would. Little did I know I’d later get laid off but because of having other income streams I would be way, way better than my big layoff from 2006? Not only was I financially better, I was emotionally and mentally better. I handled that layoff just fine. It hurt, sure. But it was nothing like in 2006.

I am not one of those young youtubers in front of a mansion and a ferrari, though. I’m not here to tell you how to do this in 6 months… it took me over 10 years of hustle, work, failure, learning from failure, continuing to try, and being ready for the right opportunities.

It was a lot of work and patience. It was a mental game. But slowly I built the kind of security I was after. And it has been 1,000% worth it.

You can do this, too. Keep with it. Maybe think about it for a year or two. I did. I didn’t start right away. But think about your future in this way and you can slowly build a beautiful, secure foundation that a single boss can’t wipe away.

31 thoughts on ““Job Security” Is Gone. Let Me Introduce “Income Security.””

  1. it means:

    “Success for future generation is:

    (1) ruthless financial discipline — no bad debt;

    (2) a life long interest in learning — education — a degree — they can’t take it away from you;

    (3) a white collar job in order to save big bux;

    (4) a blue collar skill for hard times — never saw a poor plumber;

    (5) one or more internet based businesses — your store is always open;

    (6) a free time hobby that generates income; and

    (7) a large will-maintained network of people who can “help” you.

    Seven Paths to Income Security.

    imho,
    fjohn

  2. You’ve nailed it! I’ve seen this in my own career and in the careers of my friends. Depending on the situation, I believe it means:

    – the ability to balance multiple streams of income so that if one job sinks, the others remain afloat and help to ferry the person to the next job.
    – the necessity to supplement your main income with additional income streams due to touch economic times.
    – the ability to turn your interests and hobbies into income generating opportunities.
    – the idea that your pursuit of one career does not end your pursuit of other careers.
    – the concept that you are always open to opportunity and possibility (however idealistic that may seem), and that even if you are not seeking something new, if it comes a knockin’, you’ll answer the door.

  3. This reminds me of the ideas that Robert Kiyosaki describes in his book “Rich dad poor dad”.
    But as i remember it, he takes the idea one step futher:
    He thinks that you have “income security” (he calls it in some oher terms) when you have income WITHOUT getting paid for your time.
    You need to get paid for
    royalties,rental income,dividends,interests…
    I think he calls it “passive income”

  4. Great Piece Jason!

    I think there is some debate in the career versus income security debate, if coming at this from the job seekers or recruiters/HR professionals view point. But the answer you provide – which is to me a recruiters/employment view of the teachings of Robert Kiyosaki – is that your security in life is maintained and improved by being able to generate cash, and from multiple streams

  5. Good repost Jason! This is a difficult concept for folks… especially these days when it’s just not that easy to get that revenue stream, period. I know so many people making it with multiple part time jobs right now. I think the more empowered we feel about creating our own destiny and diversifying our wealth management the better off we are.

    Thanks again for the reminder! You ROCK as always!

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