At some point or other, we’ve probably all bought into the long-held belief that having an employed role is one of the safest things in life. In fact, we’ve probably also had even more faith in our job security when the organisation is big. Yet these beliefs have been shattered on various occasions, from organisational restructures to large organisations outsourcing or offshoring any non-core services. Big organisations have also been known to fail from time to time too.
So it’s normal to not always feel 100% secure.
In simple terms, job insecurity is seen as a situation where workers feel uncertain about the continuity of their jobs.
It’s sadly experienced by many professionals, and this could be either acute or chronic in nature.
Acute insecurity occurs when a layoff is feared or threatened. Chronic insecurity is the feeling of not being able to retain a job. Whichever you might feel, I’ve created this article to help you understand what you need to know about job insecurity and some ideas of how you can deal with it. But first, we will start with some of the reasons we experience job insecurity.
CAUSES OF JOB INSECURITY
The idea of a job for life is now pretty much extinct. Research also indicates that on average, a person works for about 38.2 years in his lifetime, and within this period, there is a huge likelihood of changing roles multiple times or even having multiple careers. Some of this is driven by the individual, but that isn’t always the case.
See below for common reasons why professionals feel uncertain and insecure:
- CHANGES IN JOB, INDUSTRY, AND SKILLS: The world is rapidly changing, and so are our jobs. With the fast trend in technological advancement, many skills of yesterday have already become obsolete. Changes in technology and developments such as automation also affect many roles.
- TOXICITY: In an ideal world, we’d find ourselves not only feeling safe at work but even enjoying our work. This isn’t always the case, and toxic relationships or toxic environments are a major cause of job insecurity. Again, statistics show that 19% of professionals worry that toxicity might result in them leaving their jobs. You can read more about toxic work environments here.
- ECONOMIC ISSUES: Downtimes, such as a recession, can contribute to job insecurity in 16% of professionals. The world economy is volatile and challenging and can result in layoffs in workplaces that are unexpected and largely out of our control. Professionals are as worried about this as other functions.
- YOUNG WORKFORCE: some job insecurity amongst professionals has been attributed to the fact that companies seek younger, more energetic, and tech-savvy workers over more experienced professionals. Read more about working successfully into your 60s here.
- CHANGES IN MANAGEMENT: There is often disruption caused by changes in management, resulting in extra work impressing the boss or bringing them up to speed. Furthermore, 20% of professionals believe changes in their management could lead to reorganisations and redundancies.
Ok, so knowing that no jobs these days are 100% secure, what can you do?
HOW TO DEAL WITH JOB INSECURITY
Well, we always have options! Here are some steps you can take to future-proof your career and minimise your feelings of job security.
- In the case of new management, be confident in yourself and make a proper introduction, highlighting your skills and indicating yourself as a reliable resource whenever the need arises. Also, learn what you can about the new team so you can understand their style and ensure that you communicate with them well.
- Take the time for self-reflection. Focus on skills: skills you already have, skills that are obsolete, the skills that are future-relevant, and the skills you need to acquire to remain relevant now and in the future.
- Additionally, on skills assessment, are there skills you can acquire and enhance in-role by upskilling? What other channels could be helpful in upskilling? Never hesitate to improve yourself by learning new skills.
- Stay alert to industry trends. Remain aware of the latest news about your industry, e.g., new players and recent technological advancements in your industry. Read online, attend industry conferences, and network with like-minded professionals.
Do you find yourself relating to what’s written in this article? Job insecurity can affect each and every one of us. I provide coaching and mentoring services to professionals invested in future-proofing their careers. The last but not the least step to take if you are affected by the constant feeling of job insecurity is to talk to a career coach. You can book a Free Career Discussion with me today to get started. For individuals, we also have a list of online courses that can help you develop key skills that you need as a professional. You can check these courses out by clicking here.
Remember, your career is a big part of your life, and you do not have to just leave it to chance. If you like this article, you might also like to read:
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