Job ‘Security’- How to survive in the absence of it?

Wikipedia defines, ‘Job Security’ as the probability that an individual will keep his or her job. Economic cycles, business requirements and legal standards have been carving new realities for employment. As the competition amplifies, we can presume this to be progressive. Here we take a look at a case which had been shared by a member in our community.
“I have been working with an MNC for the past four years as an HR Officer. Since last year, there have been many changes in the management. Our unit had not been generating profit. The management had asked the employees to resign. This included, a top official working at a General Manager level. They were asked to leave and now there is no job security in the company. Sometime back, my boss was asked to resign, and then a new boss joined in.  I was informed, that it was a corporate guideline to downsize manpower and the work which I was delivering would be outsourced soon. There would be very little work left to justify my post. So I need to start searching for a job and place myself with in next three to four months. My new boss had marked me as a low performer, in the performance appraisal and had been giving negative feedback about me. My colleagues, who have been working with me since past two years confirmed that he wants to hire his reference. That’s how he was not in favor of me.

I think it’s unfeasible to work in such an organization where your boss does not support you. I am searching for a job but yet to land one. What would be your suggestion? “

Let’s brainstorm on the solution and the survival skills for this situation:

  • Live each day at work: Understand, the service is what you offer the company. In return, you get a salary. It’s great to have values around, yet at extreme situations such as this. It’s not about company’s values, it all about yours. Set your survival skills. Identify what you wish to learn and take each day as it comes.
  • Weed out insecurity: Security is an internal attribute. Binding it to any external variable, such as a job, weakens the individual in the long run. In Homa Bahrami’s words, “Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual.” Focus on your deliveries and keep yourself unattached to the designation. Job is an opportunity not just to earn but to improve on the areas where the professional is employed. Hence, use this opportunity to get yourself, ahead of the league.
  • Weave experiences through assignments: Job-hopping does not add to your employability. However, a situation like this, where the role will either be outsourced or there is a ramp-down, it is better to take each role as an assignment  and build your experience around it.
  • Keep a salary for a minimum period in your account: Irrespective of whichever role you work, please save a block amount of money that can keep you afloat when you are paying yourself. You may decide the duration, but six months to one year is what should keep you covered. Remember, once you join a new job. The first salary would still be a month away.
  • File your skills: When you work in such a change prone environment, check how employable you are at every regular interval. Please network with recruiters, who hire your skill sets and check your worth. Keep no illusions about yourself.
  • Network thoughtfully: No one will offer you a job just because you have dropped your visiting card for them. You need to create a rapport and build in trust. Similarly, you cannot get hired just because someone knows you. They need to know how exactly you match their needs. This is a continuous effort. It cannot be a onetime exercise. Keep realistic expectations. No matter how much someone wants to help you. They may still not have a job for you. Focus on getting connected. Spread the word through them and ask for reference if they can’t hire you.
  • Build in a presence: Even when you don’t have the time to network, or you are physically away from the prospective employers. Find out ways how you can build a visibility. You may participate in online communities where your target audiences are networking. Writing a blog can bring you an acknowledgment of your knowledge only when you have done it for the benefit of others and get recognized for it. Stay focused on creating opportunities. As Brian Tracy has said, “The more you seek security, the less of it, you have. But the more you seek opportunity, the more likely it is that you will achieve the security that you desire.”
  • Rewire emotionally: A sudden job loss negatively impacts the morale. There can be no rationalization suitable, enough for this cause. Accept the loss and concede the twinge. Once you have recognized this human facet, review the situation objectively. Consider the entire experience in this organization, as a movie. Now, stand out of your own movie and take an ‘end-to-beginning’ view to understand every action. This should help you respond differently, to such challenges in the future.
  • Future view: Stay connected with your environment. If there are changes in the leadership, it often impacts the reporting line as well. Understand the logical reason of someone losing their jobs. Watch out for such information and act early. Do not rock the boat, merely to breed fear. However, use your empirical judgment, to stay prepared so that if it is required for you to move out, you are fit to take the best option.
  • Second career: This is a long term solution. Your best security is your agility. Decide for an option that allows you to earn an income along with your full time role. An engagement is essential, along with continuity in employment. Often teaching is the first option considered. Though, it may not suit everyone. Offering private tuition is one option, which can be continued with a full time job. This doesn’t impinge on the dual employment policy, at the same time offers a stop-gap arrangement. Freelancing through E-lance and other organizations can keep someone occupied. Training for the skills an individual is professionally qualified for, is the best option as it adds on to the experience. The fundamental concepts get strengthened through training assignments. Volunteering is another area. This keeps one focused and well networked. Offering a free training session to the target group of employers on a chosen area, is a sound way to present yourself as a prospective candidate.

Best way to survive an extreme situation is through continuous self development. In Henry Ford’s word “The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability.” No employment is forever. I know many entrepreneurs, who keep swinging from their ventures to jobs depending on the business cycle. They get better each time they make a change. It’s never nice and rosy for them. Nevertheless, they stand by themselves with the attitude of not letting themselves down and increasing their calibre, come what may! In today’s world, irrespective of whether we are at a job or in an enterprise, we are all entrepreneurs promoting ourselves as the business venture. Let’s make the most out of ourselves.

Tell us what you would suggest and offer a solution to anyone who is in this situation.

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