The day you begin to think of your job in terms of the security versus the opportunities it provides career success is the day you start to put the brakes on building your career rewards.
Time was when a young person entering the workforce could believe the odds were he was signing a lifetime security covenant with his employer. If he worked hard and kept its nose clean he could expect to be taken care of with a job for as long as he could show up for work, with promotions along the way as openings occurred, and a pension at retirement. It was a womb to tomb deal. Loyalty was a two-way street.
The Rules Have Changed
Anyone who reads the daily news knows that’s no longer the case. Even companies like IBM, names synonymous with lifetime security, have dismissed thousands of employees
And there are the likes of Enron and WorldCom where employees have seen their employee stock plans and pensions go in the trashcan when their employers’ violated the terms of their relationship.
Employers Cannot Provide Security!
Career Tip: There is only one source of real, lasting security. That is when you know in your mind and heart that you have the know-what-to-do and how-to-get-it-done abilities that employers will buy.
When you begin to crave security and search for it from outside sources is the time you restrict your range of options to take a career path where your skills and training earn their greatest career rewards.
Your security is your responsibility.
Career Tip: If you succumb to its lure, security will eventually prove to be a debilitating, habit-forming drug. It will rob you of the will and the ability to act in your own self-interest.
It is at this point that you begin to make career decisions based on security rather than opportunity to grow.
Consider these examples.
The organization offers Henry an opportunity to move to another location to become manager of a new facility. He decline because he is afraid he might fail in the new responsibilities; and besides, he likes the security of staying put and playing it safe until he is vested in his pension.
Shirley comes up with an idea that will improve the output of her department. Her boss doesn’t think it is workable. She drops the idea because she is afraid if she pushes it, the boss might penalize her. Besides she is comfortable with things the way they are. Why rock the boat?
George has a good record as a salesman. He is offered a promotion to regional sales manager. She declines because he doesn’t want to take on the responsibility and the increased travel.
Career Advice From Ancient Rome
In explaining the fall of the ancient city of Rome, the historian Edward Gibbon wrote: “In the end, more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life. And in their quest for it all—security, comfort and freedom—they lost it all.”
It’s Your Choice
Career Advice: Seizing every opportunity to be all you can be and security are mutually exclusive. If you want security more than opportunity that’s fine, but remember there’s a price to pay.