The Outdated Concept of Job Security

With the Holiday Season upon us, I have been spending time in the office going through some old files and catching up on some reading.

In the course of going through some old notes, I came across the following quote from a book entitled Headhunters – Matchmaking in the Labor Market by William Finlay & James Coverdill.

The quote is as follows:

“A vice president for human resources at AT&T argued, as his company was preparing to lay off thousands of workers, that employees needed to abandon old-fashioned notions of job security:
“People need to look at themselves as self-employed, as vendors who come to this company to sell their skills. In AT&T, we have to promote the whole concept of the workforce being contingent.” He went on to suggest that even the very concept of a “job” was outdated and that employees needed to think of their careers in terms of “projects” and “fields of work,” for the society was becoming one that was “jobless but not workless”.”¬†

What is especially interesting is that the newspaper article from which Finlay & Coverdill found this quote is not a recent article.  Their quote is from a New York Times article dated February 13, 1996.

The bottom line is that the concept of job security – of big companies providing steady employment for workers is terribly false.

In fact, we can expand upon that last statement:
The bitter truth is that the concept of any company guaranteeing your employment is patently false.

The reality is that each individual employee is responsible for their own job security.
You cannot rely on a company to take care of you.
We are all self-employed.
We are all responsible for our own job security.

The sooner each individual employee grasps this truth – the better off they will be.