The false sense of security of a job

Published on Mar 8, 2019

A former co-worker of mine was just laid off from her job. Her husband also works full time so thankfully she is not in dire straights. For too many people, though, losing a job is devastating.

The longer you work for a company, the more you may feel comfortable and secure in your job. I argue that this is a false sense of security. When you work a traditional job for a company, you are at the whims of the people who run that company. A change in the marketplace or a few bad decisions can lead to cost-cutting, and many times the first choice is a RIF (reduction in force). 

The decisions about who stays and who goes are arbitrary. One would like to think seniority and job performance would be critical factors, but this is not always the case. A dedicated employee with stellar performance and tenure with the company can be laid off just as easily as someone new. Maybe even easier. After all, who is getting those higher salaries? 

Working for yourself is a better option because you are the one making decisions and you have the control and vested interest to stay in business and generate revenue. But even when you are working for yourself, you are still subject to your customers/clients and the marketplace. There are still elements outside of your control that can significantly impact your revenue.

So if working at a traditional job and working for yourself are both scenarios that create a false sense of security with the possibility of ruin around the corner, what is the answer?

The answer has already been provided in investment advice. Every investment advisor, certified financial planner, and anyone giving advice about investments all say the same thing. You have to diversify your investments. Never invest all your money in one fund or sector because if that single source goes down, then you are wiped out. This is sound advice, and I have never met anyone who disagreed with it.

While people may agree with this advice and follow it for investments, many people do not apply this same strategy to income. Most people have a single source of income. Regardless of how secure that income feels, it isn't. Just because you have never been laid off doesn't mean it can't happen to you.

As Tony Robbins likes to say, "Success leaves clues." I read that a millionaire has an average of seven different streams of income. SEVEN.

I'll admit I am one of those people with a traditional job and single source of income. But I am working on different ways to generate additional income. It's difficult. It's slow. Most of my waking time is taken up with the main job. I have to use the free time on nights and weekends for my other pursuits. It's a sacrifice now for security in the future.

The internet is the great equalizer. There are so many diverse opportunities available. You can find other streams of income if you are willing to give up some free time and invest in yourself. It's not quick or easy. That's why most people aren't millionaires and most people have only one income. 

For the sake of you and your family's financial wellbeing, isn't it worth at least considering the options?