I Want Income Security From My Employer. Can I Get It?
by Arturo F Munoz
(San Francisco Bay Area)
If you've been an employee for a while, you may have brainwashed yourself into believing that you have income security for as long as you're occupied working for your employer.
This is a persistent deception. Employers in the marketplace can and often do make cuts in your income through a variety of techniques that you permit. They end your income security real fast!
First, there is the obvious reduction of workload that happens most often during economic recessions. This reduction can take 2 direct forms: 1) fewer work hours or 2) the elimination of promised incentives.
If you're an hourly employee, your employer can tell you to leave early or show up later to work, depending on available workload, so you earn less little by little.
Alternatively, if you're salaried, you could work hard all year, staying overtime without additional compensation, believing that you'll receive a bonus to make up for all that commitment, only to find out from your employer that no bonuses will be available that year. So you get smacked with a loss in one fell swoop.
But there is more to work than present financial compensation. There is compensation that you can earn in the future if you're advancing in your career today.
If your career stagnates any time because the workload diminishes or the assignments become mundane and your skills are not improving, yet the job market is "soft" and you fear taking a leap to go elsewhere, then your future income security is on the line today.
You go home. You wait for your employer's situation to change. But what's your situation?
You're getting less money now or, day by day, you're stagnant and reducing your future prospects for making better money. This waiting has a price.
In fact it is a cost to you. It's known as opportunity cost.
You're giving up something during that time of waiting. Whatever size that opportunity that you're surrendering has, that is the income that you're permitting your employer to keep you from getting for waiting for your employer's situation to change.
What kind of opportunities are we therefore talking about?
The main opportunity that you give up is working on buying yourself a new job -- one that gives you a chance to stay productive working for more than just one current, troubled employer.
You could be working on buying yourself future control over your income, by making yourself less dependent on 1 employer and 1 source of income.
You could be working on buying yourself an opportunity to use skills that your employer finds of little if any use, but which 50 of your own customers can find crucial to their success.
You could also be buying yourself the certainty of not getting dismissed without recourse because of an at-will employment situation.
So, don't give up your control and income opportunity in exchange for what seems to be income security from your single employer.
The only income security that you can have is the one that you don't depend on 1 employer alone to secure for you.