Job Security

There's been a lot of press over the last few months about France's law to allow businesses to fire employees who have been with a company less than two years. Up until now, if you were hired in France you had a job for life no matter what kind of job you did (no wonder unemployment is over 10% nationally and over 22% for younger workers).

In mid April, France's leadership caved to youth and student demonstrations and revoked the new law.

You Aren't Entitled To A Job
My parents lived through the Depression. All they wanted for me was a good job with a good company where I could retire with a pension. Working for Ma Bell seemed like a good choice to fulfill this destiny. But then came the breakup and then the squandering of the company's resources on ventures my Baby Bell (US West) didn't understand which led to an acquisition by Qwest and the destruction of shareholder value via the dot-com bust. It wasn't just the union that dragged its feet when it came to embracing cable networks, DSL, fiber optics and the internet; the management team couldn't do it either.

France clearly doesn't understand, nor do many U.S. unions or members of the C-club (CEO, CFO, etc.) that you are not entitled to a job. There is only one true job security: creating products and services that customers want and are willing to pay for over and over again. If you fail to:

  • create a quality product
  • provide a quality service
  • deliver on time
  • service the customer with affection
  • fix it fast and make it right for the customer if something goes wrong

it doesn't matter if your company guarantees lifetime job security or not. The marketplace will force your company (and you) out of business.

Everybody seems to want job security, but few people want to do what it takes to earn that security. Everybody seems to expect someone else to create job security. But it's everyone's job. It's your job.

True Job Security
Delighting and satisfying customers = job security

And you can't rely on existing "loyal" customers, because the only loyal customer is one that hasn't found a better supplier.

I feel sorry for France and its workers. Until they wake up and realize that job security is stifling innovation and productivity and quality, they are destined for worse unemployment and more unrest.

It's up to you. If you want job security, you've got to earn it every day, not just the day you were hired.

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, (888) 468-1537,"

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