Job Security Is A Big Lie
Don’t let a 9–5 hold you hostage because you think your job is safe.
Many of us have been raised with the idea that we have to work for someone else and that holding down a ‘job’ is the best way to build the kind of life we want.
Whether that means a predictable pay check, the ability to take a vacation every year or pay off a mortgage, being an employee is seen as the best way to accomplish this.
Until recently I fell right in the middle of this category. I was convinced that trying to do anything on my own was too risky, and that I had no way of predicting my income on a month to month basis. Add in some employer paid benefits and the notion of job security, and I couldn’t see working for myself as something I’d ever do.
But then I was laid off.
While this stung and it took me some time to lick my wounds and decide what I was going to do next, one thing occurred to me very quickly.
Job security is a big lie.
Any employee is at the hands of their employer at any given time. Your employer owes you nothing — and this can be a scary wake up call.
Think about it. You have a job and operate under the assumption that it’s safe each day you wake up and make it into the office. Provided you’re doing good work and meeting or exceeding expectations, there isn’t a reason for you to be fearful of losing your job.
You might pride yourself on putting in extra hours or consistently going the extra mile to demonstrate your loyalty to your employer. Any time you have a performance review it’s typically glowing and you’re maybe even seeing consistent raises in pay or bonuses.
But then your industry changes or there’s trouble in the economy and your employer is forced to cut costs. For most organizations human resources are their biggest expense and the first place they look to trim the budget.
What this means is that despite your best efforts you and the role you fill are going to be scrutinized and evaluated. Maybe you survive this round of cuts, or maybe you don’t.
In less than two minutes you could find yourself being escorted out of the building with a final pay check in hand, and someone from HR telling you they’ll have the contents of your desk couriered to your home.
Talk about a rude awakening.
No Job Is Secure
For an organization you’re a small cog on a giant wheel and you fulfill a function for them — not the other way around.
Your employer will always look to put their needs and objectives ahead of those of their employees — after all that’s what they’re designed to do.
Sticking with a 9–5 job because of the predictability or perceived safety of it makes you subservient to the whims of decision makers likely far removed from you and your job. They typically don’t understand the real world implications of their decision on employees.
Leadership’s role is to maximize value for shareholders (or whoever it is that owns your organization), and using your skills and abilities are part of the way they achieve that.
You’re also always at risk of working for a manager that just doesn’t like you and regardless of what you do you’re in their cross hairs. If they can find a way to get rid of you there’s a good chance they’ll act on it.
This all sounds doom and gloom and for good reason — it flies directly in the face of conventional wisdom about careers and employment.
It might even scare you — but it’s that fear that can move you to take action.
Explore Self Employment
There is a better way — a saner way to approach employment and build a life that is much more secure.
Work for yourself.
It requires a lot of creativity, drive, coffee and long hours, but if you’re building something that you genuinely love these things start to matter less and less.
After getting laid off I decided to turn my side hustle as a freelance writer and consultant into a full time gig. It has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my career and other personal goals.
How I Turned My Side Hustle Into A Full Time Gig
With a solid plan you can quit your day job and move from employee to entrepreneur.
I’m no longer beholden to the whims of a grumpy boss, or ridiculous organizational policies and practices. I can start work when I want, and leave to go to the gym at noon and grab groceries while I’m out without anyone there watching the clock.
Best of all is that I can control the type of work I do and the clients I take on. I can set my rates and pay myself accordingly, while building a business that has purpose and allows me to grow into the professional that I want to be.
This kind of freedom and flexibility have brought me deeper satisfaction with my work, and the ability to balance my life in a way that I could only dream of a few short months ago.
I’m no longer held hostage by the myth of job security and know that I have the skills and abilities to take care of myself.
While having a 9–5 job is the typical route to building a career, it’s not secure at any juncture. There will always be risk of getting laid off, being fired, or your employer going bankrupt that will see you without a job faster than you can blink. Instead of working for someone else, take a chance and work for yourself. Build the career and life you want on your terms instead of someone else’s.
Join my community of entrepreneurs and creatives by clicking here. Boost your productivity, balance work and life, and move closer to self employment.