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Job Satisfaction and Job Security December 15, 2011

Posted by Tim Rodgers in job search.
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The recent recession and lingering jobless recovery has created a situation where many people feel grateful to have any job at all, even if that job doesn’t give them opportunities to exercise their talents or develop new skills. Some of my former colleagues seem paralyzed in their current positions, lacking the confidence to pursue new opportunities that would enable them to perform at a higher level because they’ve traded job satisfaction and career growth for perceived job security, often illusory.

This is unfortunate for both individuals and companies, and perhaps even for the economy at large. Look, people certainly can find satisfaction and a sense of achievement elsewhere in their lives: from their families, hobbies, volunteer work, and other activities. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions about the direction of their career, but I think it’s a tragic waste when people settle for working at a level below their capabilities, afraid to take a chance on changing jobs or changing companies.

When personal mobility is limited by job security concerns or other barriers, businesses are deprived of fresh talent who often bring new insights from their diverse backgrounds. This can be particularly damaging to start-ups and early-stage companies that need experienced people to develop new products and services and move into new markets. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, the larger economy is under-performing because of the cumulative effect of people working in the wrong jobs at the wrong companies.

In any event, the job security that people may be counting on is much less certain these days. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve worked at a company or what kind of contribution you’ve made in the past. The real job security derives from your abilities and talents, your self-confidence, your ability to recognize opportunities, and your willingness to seize those opportunities.



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