The Future of Work – There is No Path to Job Security; It is the Path

Time to Adapt - ClockThat is not SkloverWorkingWisdom, but rather my adaptation of a Hindu proverb that says “There is no path to love; love is the path.” I believe the sentiment is equally applicable to work, job security, and your future at work.

No matter where you are – whether in Brazil or in Brooklyn – there sure does not seem to be much job security out there, unless of course you are Jay-Z or Justin Beiber. But here’s a real secret: even Jay-Z and Justin Beiber know full well that “One day you’re hot, and the next day you’re not.”

It used to be that employers said to their employees, “Just do your job, and you’ll keep your job,” or something quite close to that. Those days are gone, and won’t be coming back.

Like power, self-confidence, or peace of mind, no one can “give” you job security. Years ago, an employer could “guarantee” you a job, or even a career. Today, no one can do that for you anymore, even if they wanted to.

These days employers – whether large or small – can’t be sure if their businesses, their business models, or even their industries will a year from today be what they are today, or even around at all.

Now – and in the future – you will come to see that “job security” is a process, not a destination. Think of it like farming, which might be an apt metaphor for what you need to understand about “Job Security.”

You see, it’s not the “harvest” that the farmer thinks about all day long, but the daily demands, large and small, of “farming.” The successful farmer knows that there is no harvest to be had without planning, hard work, and attention to detail, all of which yield the value and its rewards.

At work, it’s not the “job security” you need to focus on, but rather daily “developing value” in yourself by developing yourself, as a farmer nurtures the fields of his farm.

Each day at work, (a) “plant” the seeds of ambition, (b) “till” your “field of dreams,” (c) watch which way “the weather blows,” (d) understand your “field” better than anyone else, (e) “fertilize” your soil with the blood, sweat and tears of hard work, (e) prepare for the inevitable “droughts,” and, finally, (f) save some of your “harvest” for the inevitable “rainy days” of life.

Just like no one can “give” a farmer a bountiful harvest, no one can “give” you a secure job or career. These days, employers are not certain of their own futures, so surely can’t guarantee yours.

The future “Job Security” is inside you, today and each day that you develop it within yourself.

More and more, ”Job Security” is what you do each day, the interest you bring to your work and infuse in it, how you do your work, and why you do what you do. It’s not a goal so much as it is a process, inside you, that leads to that “reasonable confidence” that is job security.

And no one can give it to you; you decide each moment whether to give it to yourself, and how to do so.

So now I hope you see what I see coming our way: “There’s no path to Job Security; Job Security is the path.”

© 2013 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

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