David Koch: Job security is hard to find but these steps will provide your life with some certainty
JOB security? What job security? It’s almost as though the concept has completely disappeared from our modern age of mass redundancies and failing companies that we all thought would last forever.
The case that’s still fresh in our minds is Dick Smith; a seemingly robust Aussie icon that imploded at the cost of around 3,000 jobs, and most of them didn’t see it coming.
It’s not just companies failing either. Modern business means our bosses are constantly, “resizing”, “downsizing”, “re-engineering” or whatever the latest management buzz word is. In the end it all leads to the same thing … job losses.
In this environment it’s hard not to be concerned about our job security. If a company so big and seemingly successful for so many years can go under because of poor management, what’s stopping others from following suit? And perhaps the scariest aspect of the lack of job security is just that … it’s so often out of our hands, no matter how good you are at your job. If you have children, a mortgage or both, this situation can be especially frightening.
So what can be done to create your own security in such dire times? Well, the good news is, more than you think.
The best thing you can do is make yourself an irresistible employee.
Times have changed, and just like a boss can’t rely on their employee’s long-term loyalty anymore, employees can’t rely on a job for life. If you don’t like the idea of being out of a job for an extended period of time, the best thing you can do is make yourself an irresistible employee.
The key is building up a clear skill set that is easily transferable between jobs or even careers. Look for opportunities to take on extra training or responsibilities.
You may even want to consider gaining some extra tertiary education, which is now easier than ever to achieve. TAFEs, Colleges and even universities offer a number of flexible courses that allow you to study outside of normal work hours.
And don’t underestimate the importance of building up a strong network of contacts, both inside and outside your organisation. If you’re worried about your job security, building up a hefty emergency fund should be a big priority.
Peace of mind is important, particularly when it comes to your family’s financial well being. If you have a mortgage, it’s absolutely normal to be worried about keeping up with repayments should you encounter some career turbulence.
Mortgage protection insurance will cover your mortgage repayments for a period of time if a mishap renders you unable to make repayments, such as losing your job, illness or death.
It’s important to note that income protection, while still very important, will only provide cover if you are unable to work due to sickness or injury, So don’t rely on it if a redundancy rolls around.
Whatever the situation, Lib and I believe everyone needs a budget and savings plan.
But if you’re worried about your job security, building up a hefty emergency fund should be a big priority.
When I first started in the media an old boss recommended we build the equivalent of six months salary because working in media is risky. Unlike an insurance policy, with savings you are not restricted with how you use your money, nor do you need to qualify for a claim.
And, best of all, you can earn interest on your savings by using a high interest savings account to hold it.
Offsetting your mortgage
If you are building up an emergency fund and have a home loan with a linked offset account, why not take advantage of your savings by offsetting your mortgage?
A mortgage offset account is simply a savings account that is linked to your mortgage. Money in the account offsets the principle of your mortgage, meaning you only pay interest on the loan principle minus the money in your offset account.
The more money you have in your offset account, the less interest you pay and the quicker you’ll pay off your loan.It’s generally more beneficial than simply having money in a savings account and, if an emergency catches you off guard, the money is easily accessible.