Job Security: Then and Now

From a technical point of view, job security is the probability that an individual will keep their job. It is measured and compared globally, and it is one of many variables that help determine “well-being” in various countries. Traditionally, job security is higher during economic expansions and lower during recessions. In the Unites States most workers are now “at-will” meaning they can be let go for any or no reason at any time. The situation is different for government employees and industries where labor unions still have some power and job security is higher. We can thank labor unions for many aspects of our professional lives we now take for granted (e.g., the 40-hour workweek, weekends, and prohibitions against child labor, etc.). Collective bargaining brought about through union organization was a key factor in the creation of a large middle class.

Times change and workers in the United States are now largely on their own. In terms of job security, this means that the best way to have job security is to know you can get another job if you lose the one you have. From a practical point of view, this means staying current with technology and industry trends, participating actively in professional associations, and networking all the time. I often tell people who are involved in a job search or career change that they need to think of themselves as a brand. Make that brand recognizable and appealing to your target demographic – the people for whom you work and the people who will hire you next.

Loyalty to a company and the expectation of a pension was the norm just a generation or two ago. Pensions still exist in a few places and loyalty is still a fine virtue, but to expect it to be reciprocated is largely a thing of the past. To paraphrase the movie Fight Club, “the first rule of job security is that there is no job security.” A bit of an overstatement, but you could do worse in picking a mantra that motivates you to prepare for success within a changing professional landscape.

Part of staying current is to nurture your ability to do a great job and find your next job effectively. Waiting until you have been laid off to refresh your network and catch up on trends and technologies limits your choices. Career Solutions Group offers services that ensure that you remain at your best throughout your professional life. To learn more please contact us at We offer free initial consultations that will help you understand the process in greater detail.

By: Bryan Dennis, Career Solutions Group