The Fallacy of Job Security

young smart business womanNo job is secure. Economies are always changing unpredictably. Do not be fooled by *economic experts* predictions – genuine economic experts will be the first to admit that it easier to accurately predict the weather. New technologies sweep aside entire industries – how many blacksmiths, typesetters, coopers, cobblers or wool spinners do you know? Social and political changes have unforeseeable economic consequences.

Your own successful, thriving, growing business may be squashed by hyperinflation. I know because this happened to me in 1996 in Zimbabwe. New regulations or a big bad (or small smart) competitor who is not playing by the old rules may force you out of your current business.

People are made redundant by companies that have sworn never to lay off their human capital. It has happened before. This happened to me, and many others in the IT industry – I was made redundant in 2004. And it will happen again, and again, in this and other industries, locally and globally, ad nauseum. So let me repeat it once more, just so that you are perfectly clear about the message – Your job is not secure.

The flip side: There is always opportunity to find a new career that never existed before, that is a better fit for you than your current career. There are always new and exciting opportunities emerging out of the changes in technology and the global economy. How many programmers, web designers and internet entrepreneurs do you know?

Think about the experience you are getting in your current job. Will it be useful to you in 5, 10, 20 years? Put my money where my mouth is: I’m learning about biology – not something that will be changing because of legislation, technology, globalization or any other market force. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is as useful today as when he first published it. Louis Pasteur’s discoveries are still relevant and continue to be applied today. When I learn or discover something this year, it should still be true in ten years. If you cannot say the same about what you are learning today, this may or may not be a problem. If your current learning is a step in a natural progression that you desire, then you are heading in your chosen direction. If what you are learning now is a “dead end” and will only apply to this job, for a limited time, and is not a foundation to build upon, then rethink your career choice now.

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