Decades ago, job security was what employees got on a platter of gold. All they needed to do was to attain some level of education, and the rest is history. Employees even got paid their pension after retiring – it was reassuring to have coins jingling in your pockets. Well, that was decades ago, in a completely different era. But now, we are in the technology era, and job security is now a myth.
For many obvious reasons, things are not the same anymore. Jobs in the technological era move faster than people can keep up with. Even the most learned and experienced must continually develop and evolve, else they get some rude shock. As a child who grew up to his parents’ constant chimes, keeping up with the technological era was not a walk in the park. What was drummed into my ears was “go to school, study hard, get a good job, live a good life, save some money, and finally retire.” Sounds like an excellent plan, yes? Well, it was a perfect plan some decades ago, but not anymore.
There has never been a time like this in history where more jobs are lost due to the explosive growth in technology. More precise and tireless machines are now handling jobs that used to be handled by humans. The influence of technology is so high that nobody knows if they would still have their job in the next minute. There’s probably a technological discovery and advancement waiting to take over your job or hand it over to more experienced people. In essence, job security is now a complete myth!
But did we see it coming? Well, it would be safe to say we did. I mean, as far back as 330BC, Aristotle had given a clue on the subject. He foresaw that machines would one day displace human labor because they were more efficient. Economists in the 20th century also predicted it. Technological unemployment – losing jobs due to more efficient technologies had plagued developed nations for so many years. Now, its effect is beginning to tell on us as well.
What is Job Security?
Job security is a perceived or real belief that an employee will keep his/her job. It is a state of having a secure position from which one is unlikely to be dismissed. It goes without saying that employees appreciate the job security that comes with steady paychecks. Job security assures employees that they will still have their job in the nearest future irrespective of economy, health, and other outside factors. Job security could also mean that an employer is satisfied with the employee’s job and is in no hurry to end the employment contract.
In the wake of technological advancement and the ushering of the technological era, technological unemployment is now a well-established phenomenon. With the rapidly changing world we find ourselves in, we need to change some ideas and beliefs too rapidly. While introducing a new technology may create jobs for people with the technical know-how, it may spell doom for those without the required knowledge.
Technological development doesn’t necessarily affect the overall rate of unemployment. Let’s say you work in a company that produces refined rice. If new technology can do your job faster, you may need to kiss your job goodbye. But other open jobs may land on your laps or that you would have to run after. For example, if you know how to operate the machine, you may get a job as the operator. And if you don’t, you can seek another position in the services sector where more workers would be needed. So, contrary to popular belief, technological change needn’t increase overall unemployment, but some workers may lose their jobs temporarily.
Technology and its Impact on the Global Economy
It is apparent that nothing has impacted the global economy as much as technology. It has indeed brought a revolution to many sectors. Technological advancement has improved living standards, enhanced healthy international trade, developed business operations, and lowered its cost. On a global scale, its impact is very major and record-breaking. Technology powerhouses such as Google, Amazon, and Apple have replaced the industrial members who used to have the largest indexes in the market in terms of their capitalization. For example, Amazon’s market capitalization alone can move the entire index of the global economy. Technology affects the overall performance of a company, country, or world at large.
Disruptive technology is an innovation that changes the way consumers, industries, or businesses function. A disruptive technology brushes off the systems or practices that it substitutes because it has noticeably advanced characteristics. There is a fast-paced emergence of disruptive products and business models, which has excellent transformative power on business and society. Technological unemployment is a significant consequence of technology; it has made job security to become a myth. Manual workers are being substituted by tech specialist, machines, and robots. Therefore, the competition between man and machine is at its climax, and only those with the required skills will retain their job.
Skills Required to Secure Your Job in the Technological Era
So, what are the skills that you would need to help you secure your job in the technological era? Well, here are seven things you need to know to survive the competition in this technological era.
- Be a Continuous Learner
As new inventions come into the market every day, they are sometimes in need of people who will operate them. For instance, financial companies have many challenges in areas such as blockchain innovations, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT). All these things drive their competition and customers’ demands. Managers try to keep their company on track by recruiting new specialists who understand these systems. Still, if existing employees update their knowledge about new inventions and offer the needed service, they retain their job!
- Adapt Like Crazy
According to the famous biologist, Charles Darwin, it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change. Adaptability is one of the top human skills, otherwise known as soft or indispensable skills. Employers are on the hunt for this quality! Adaptability is when you can swiftly act in response to changing trends, modernization, destabilization, technology, and industry change. This ability to bend or shift makes an employee dexterous and able to flow with the trends. This skill is essential because most industries are constantly changing and developing.
- Job Security Does Not Equal Financial Security
Financial freedom, in its simplest definition, is freedom from all money worries. The truth is, what constitutes security today may fall apart in the future. Therefore, holding on to the wrong security might prevent you from the real source of security. You can get a stable job with a good paycheck but still, be trapped in the rat race with debts before your next salary.
- Staying Too Long on a Job
When you stay too long at a job, you lose out on many opportunities. Such opportunities include the broadening of your skills and the gain of exposure to other ways of working. Getting involved with new systems and technology will make you far more marketable to a potential employer. Therefore, it may not be an excellent idea to leverage job security as you may be doing your career growth more harm than good in the long run.
- Work Remotely
Working remotely gives you more freedom. Employees that work remotely have a better work-life balance. Being a remote employee promotes the well-being of the employee. Remote work increases productivity because it is done at the employee’s best time. Working remotely also saves the company’s investment in the facility.
- Stop Trading Time for Money
Everybody is a trader, but some specialize in trading time for money, probably the worst trade in life. When you continuously trade time for money throughout your life, your time is limited to pursue the things you love doing. There are also limits to the income you make, and the more time you put in, the less you have for other things.
- Start Creating Scalable Products and Services
Scalability is the ability of a system to meet the business needs of a company by evolving. It is the ease with which the supply of a service, process, or product undergoes expansion to meet changing demand levels. Scalability is the capability of a company, network, or system to cope with a growing amount of work. Being scalable in the technological era makes you indispensable to your company. Be scalable!
In conclusion, there is no such thing as job security in the face of evolving technology. It’s all a myth. Do the needful, and you will not be displaced!