Friday, 30 December 2011

What is job security?

Umbrellas - not doing a lot of protecting
With all the sad news of job cuts and redundancies I feel a strange reversal of role coming over me.

When I left British Airways around 17 years ago to work for myself, lots of people said 'I couldn't do what you're doing. I'd love to be my own boss but I couldn't cope with the lack of job security.' It was a scary thought, coming out from under the protecting umbrella of an organization that paid your salary with satisfying regularity at the end of the month.

It's true that over the years there have been times when things have been very tight. There are no guarantees when you work for yourself. Your next bit of earnings won't just come drifting in, you've got to go out and find it. And yet the whole idea that I was doing something risky compared with those who stayed working for a company, or a public body, assumes that there is such a thing as a guarantee.

But now when I compare myself with someone who has been made redundant, I feel strangely secure. They suddenly have nothing come in. I don't doubt it's harder for me to get projects going at the moment, but on the whole I can find ways to keep going. In a sense I have more security because I can't be made redundant. There isn't a circumstance where I would have to start again from scratch. What a strange reversal.

Image from Wikipedia
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