Is Employability the Modern Replacement for Job Security?

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Is Employability the Modern Replacement for Job Security?

Matthew Tripp

Human Capital Intern at C² Technologies

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The traditional portrayal of the American worker is defined by stability. A person signs on with a company fresh out of school and they work their way up, advancing within the company. It is a classic tale in America and one that is much loved. The popularity of such anecdotes highlights the value placed on stability and linear progression for a worker within a single organization.

But that is not the reality that employees are now facing. Rather than sticking with a single organization, workers are increasingly finding themselves shuffling between jobs and even careers. A struggling economy and tough job market have helped decrease job security. With the possibility of layoffs, budget cuts, and long term unemployment looming, workers require a source of stability to guarantee future employment. Employability helps to fill that gap by providing workers with a set of knowledges, skills, and abilities that they take with them to their next job and beyond, ensuring that even if the current job is lost another position is within reach.

With the security and loyalty of old now declining, how can anyone ensure that they will have a job in the future? Maybe employability – those knowledges, skills, and abilities that make an individual valuable to an organization – has supplanted the traditional role of job security. Workers may no longer feel secure in their job within a specific organization, but can increasingly rely on their employability to guarantee a job, if not their current job. While this new system of employability certainly reflects the modern job climate, workers may be left wondering whether it is better or worse than job security once was.

This change not only reflects the modern job climate but signals a necessary shift in strategy for both organizations and job seekers. Organizations unable to appeal to job seekers’ desire to increase employability may find themselves losing their employees to competitors and unable to compete for top level talents. Job seekers who neglect to adapt their job search strategies and techniques may be unable to secure desirable employment. But the opportunity to excel exists for both job seekers and organizations – if they can adapt to the shift from job security to employability.

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