Why “job-security” is dead and what to do about it

Why do we believe that jobs where we are paid really good money to do work that can be systemized, written in a manual and/or exported are going to come back ever? – Seth Godin

Recently, Seth Godin has been writing and speaking (video below) a good deal about the “Forever Recession”.

The premise is this:

  • the industrial revolution is over
  • any job that can be systematized will be
  • it will be a “race to the bottom” to see who can do this cheapest

This means that “job security” is a farce.

It also means though that if you are doing something original, something that cannot be replicated, it is more valuable than ever.

The security is in the platform.

In this new economy, the surest way to survive (and thrive) is not to look to a job for security.

Instead, look to create a personal platform.

A personal platform is that place from which you communicate to the world

  1. who you are and
  2. what you do

Your platform is the place where you become original, stand out from the crowd, and gain credibility for yourself.

What are some different types of platforms?

  • a blog is a platform
  • social media is a platform
  • a newsletter is a platform
  • a meetup is a platform

Don’t find a job. Build a platform.

Lose your job and all you get to keep is the severance (hopefully) and maybe a good professional network.

A platform is an asset that you keep with you no matter who your employer is. That identity, that audience, and that network is yours to keep.

In fact, currently I am coaching several folks who are looking to land their next job.

Our first order of business is not to scour Craigslist and Linkedin. Our first order of business is to get building their personal platform- even if it’s small.

Not only does a personal platform provide them more long-term value. As well, in the near term it helps them stand out from the crowd and attract their next employer.

Two great examples.

So what’s it look like to have a platform?

It does not have to be a Top 50 blog or highly trafficked website.

Here are two great examples:

  1. Jessica Slice-Sadler is a friend and a killer realtor. Visit her site and you’ll find that she’s:

    • An urban realtor in Durham with an advocate approach to sales
    • A foodie who loves to travel

  2. Tom Maybrier is a client and a budding online community manager. Visit Tom’s site and you’ll find that he’s:

    • A Bay Area community manager with a Taoist approach to online community management
    • A fan of off-beat music with a minimalist aesthetic

How about you? Where is your personal platform?

If you have a platform, leave a link (or description) in the comments. If not, leave a comment as to what’s holding you back.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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14 thoughts on “Why “job-security” is dead and what to do about it

  1. http://startops.co

    My platform built around a fun-loving approach to biz operations. I try to mix nuts and bolts how-tos with more philosophical advice.

    Great call on platforms Ryan! Important to have consistent messaging and imaging across all your online presences as well – LinkedIn, Zerply, blog, twitter, Crunchbase, Quora, Forrst, etc.

  2. Wow! Flattered to be spotlighted here! Like you say, it’s been really helpful to focus on a “platform” – even seemingly unrelated things can and do inform my work and it’s been a boon to think of them as parts of a larger whole.