A Job for Life?

How many times have you heard people say that a “Job for Life” no longer exists?

Well, in my view, they are right and they are wrong.

I agree that the days are gone when anyone could expect to join a company and see a secure future to their retirement days. Various recessions have been the cause and, in general, this has been healthy for the employment industry, for both companies and employees. During recessions for instance, I have interviewed many people in middle management positions, who have been made redundant as companies have streamlined their processes or downsized their infrastructure. Whilst this enabled these companies to survive, the effect on those employees has often been devastating as their industry knowledge and self-worth have been so integrated with that company.  Today, employees’ expectations are that they are unlikely to remain with the same company for many years and, therefore, can develop a greater sense of their independence and self-worth.

A “Job for Life” to me, means exactly that,  whether you are working for a company or for yourself. If you look forward to the working day and enjoy what you are doing, this can only have a positive effect on how you feel about, and deal with, non-work related issues that occur. Bernard Haldane, a pioneer in career development, focused on practical ways for people to identify skills they were best at and most motivated to use. Being in the early 60’s, this was revolutionary at the time, but his principles are as sound today for anyone seeking not only career, but self fulfilment.

Recruiters, when interviewing are looking for where a candidate’s skills fit the role they are wishing to fill and will use various tools and techniques to identify them.  Some people, if their skills do not fit well enough take a “No” as personal rejection, losing confidence and self-esteem.

However, if you have a very clear understanding of your strengths and transferable skills, you can approach the job market with a completely different mindset.  You will be identifying the right companies and roles which fit your needs which is very likely to have a domino effect on your interview preparation, positive attitude and confidence which are all necessary for success. Also, it encourages you to make direct applications and not wait for a role to be advertised. I’m not suggesting blanket applications to multitude of companies, but approaching a select few with what you have to offer can be very worthwhile. Even if a role does not exist now, if you have selected wisely then your initiative may well be appreciated enough for a company to inform you of roles in the future.


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