How Secure is Job Security?
If you’re like me, from a young age your parents drilled into you the importance of Job Security. It was always instilled in me to do well in school so I could get into a good university, then study hard to ensure that nice “secure” job once I graduated. I knew when the term “secure” job was used it meant a steady paycheck (salaried if possible), in a high-demand industry, with great benefits, and a way to distinguish yourself among your peers. Now, while all of those principles are still great, there’s no arguing that the job market is evolving and many jobs are no longer as secure as they once may have been. The reality is, security is not as easy to come by as it once was. Even two careers that many would consider the most secure, government work and military service, at times have taken drastic cuts as both federal and state governments are consistently asked to do more with less. Personally, I have seen some government employees go through periods of 20% pay cuts, and some military members lose their careers altogether. If we can’t depend on even the most secure career fields, what hope do the rest of us have? For that reason, we urge our clients to focus instead on the idea of Income Security.
The principle idea behind Income Security is this: the greater number of different income streams you have coming in each month, the more secure your future. These income streams can come from investment returns, cash flows from investment real estate, freelance writing, part-time work, pet sitting, or any number of other “side-hustles.” The job market is becoming less “secure” as we pass through more extreme market cycles, but the reality is it has never been easier to supplement our income by monetizing our passions. Additionally, one of the largest benefits to Income Security is that if any one of your cash flow pipelines is interrupted through job loss or other circumstances beyond your control, you can ramp up your other income generators to fill the void. If you can develop a passion project or side-hustle it will also help fill those resume gaps that are created as when you move from career to career. To me, it’s a security win-win. When we diversify our income, we then have the freedom to be more selective in our job search as we explore our options because even if it ends up that we need to tap our savings, we will do so at a significantly diminished rate.
Now, of course it’s important to remember this doesn’t negate the importance of finding a good, well-paying primary career. For most of us our career will still make up the vast majority of our earning power, but if you haven’t already, I want to encourage you to explore the idea of pursuing some (or many!) other streams of income. Not only do many of these side-hustles provide significant financial rewards, but many people also find them personally edifying and provide the ability to engulf themselves even deeper into something they were already passionate about. I encourage you to replace the idea of Job Security in your mind and instead focus on Income Security. It’s a mental shift you will be immensely grateful you made.