Is there really such a thing as Job security? Recently 4500 employees, retrenched from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) found out that the answer is no, not for everyone. It’s not just in Zimbabwe either.
In America, 7.9 Million jobs were lost in the recent recession! (money.cnn.com)
Jobs are even less secure than the businesses which employ them.
There’s no such thing as job security and there’s no such thing as business security… unless of course you’re something special, then everything changes...
See, when heads roll and people start losing jobs in an organization, it doesn’t happen randomly, despite how it may feel (if it’s happened to you). Typically (besides cases of office politics), jobs are lost from bottom up. Those perceived to be at the bottom of the value scale will go first with job security increasing proportionately the higher up the value scale you go.
Read that last sentence again ‘perceived’ is an important word.
It means that the decision isn’t necessarily based on reality, but on perception – perspective. Whose? Not yours, but the perception of the decision maker. Realize that unless you do something about it, it’s entirely possible that your boss (employer) may have a very different perspective than you do about the value or uniqueness of your contribution.
So does job security exist?
Of course it does, but not for everyone – not even for everyone who is in reality, vital to the organization’s survival or success. Job security exists for those who are perceived as being an asset the company can’t afford to lose.
This means that if you really want job security, you’ll need to do two things very well
1) Be really good at whatever you do & demonstrate it.
2) Ensure that you are personally (not just your role) perceived as being a vital part of the businesses survival and success.
These two are often not the same.
- 1 is an issue of technical knowledge or skill, the importance of which most employees are very aware of. It’s also often easy to replace, even if you’re good.
- 2 is based on something rarely understood or implemented – Personal branding.
Personal branding is the process by which you identify, define and promote your value, it’s vital importance and incredible uniqueness to everyone, especially the powers that be. Personal branding effectively positions you as the only one who can deliver like you can.
Of the 4500 employees who lost their jobs at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last month, I’ll bet that many were good at their jobs. I’d also wager that very few, if any had engaged in actively and strategically branding themselves as extremely valuable, irreplaceable and vital for the bank…especially not for the right people.
Unless you’re planning on starting a business of your own, you’d better! The retrenched employees got a package when they left, you may not be so lucky.
It all works exactly the same for business owners. Their security in the market is also based on the same principle, except instead of being fired, you’re simply ignored by the market – no one buys and no word of mouth. When businesses in an industry start closing, the market will close down businesses perceived to be t the very bottom of the value continuum first, with ‘market security’ increasing proportionately the more valuable your market perceives you to be.
Job Security or Market security are things that happen not only when you’re the best…but when you’re perceived by the powers that be as being vital, the best and so unique that you’re irreplaceable.
But Will Personal Branding Really Save your job?
Personal branding when done right will exponentially increase the perceived value of your contribution in any setting or market – and that’s the important thing. Opportunities gravitate towards people with strong brands and away from ‘nobodies’. Even if you are forced to move on from one particular organization (which is a rare case), you’ll be quite easily snapped up by another in record time and probably better money.
So whether you’re employed, starting a business or a leader of big business already, personal branding will bring you more job or ‘market security’ than just about any other factor – yes, often even more than the actually technical skill itself.