Job Security to Skills Security
As globalization, outsourcing, contracting, downsizing, recession and even natural disaster spread throughout the work world, “job security” can seem like a thing of the past. People entering the workforce within the past few years may have more than 15 different jobs before they retire. That’s the norm.
People who work for large organizations now find themselves in the same position as consultants, freelancers, and other independent contractors: endlessly gathering testimonials, documenting their achievements, and making proposals for new pieces of work.
The lack of job security that goes with this is something that almost everyone must face at one time or another, and learning how to cope is essential to being happy, and keeping stress away. So, how do you deal with this uncertainty? Forget about “job security” and focus instead on “skills security”.
There is a difference between occupational and employability skills. Occupational skills are a set of knowledge and skills that employees need for a specific job or occupation. Employability skills or workplace skills prepare individuals for any job. You will need to have both but the focus in securing satisfying work will be on your employability skills. These keep you flexible as you sniff out and discover the work that needs to be done and then apply your special skills to it.
What are these particular skills?
- versatile thinking
- self-directed learning
- opportunity discovery
- problem solving
- collaborative sharing
Those, I think, are the top ones as I look to the horizon.
Companies, whether permanent or temporary, are changing from being a block of workers to being a market place of deals – a dynamic that is very familiar to musicians working gig to gig.
Whether freelancing or employed, it is your own personal “portfolio of skills” that will provide the raw material you will need to forge a career in this new milieu. Each opportunity crossing your path will be a chance to negotiate your career anew.
Embrace this new mindset. It’s here to say and in increasing demand.