Is there such a thing as a job for life?

Is there such a thing as a job for life?

In years gone by, many people would get a job at the start of their working life, carry on doing that job until retirement and then their employer would give them a healthy company pension and a generous leaving present.

The ‘job for life’ is much less common today however. Being able to continue in the same role for 40 years or more is not impossible, but consider that if any of the following events happen at any stage, then you won’t be able to stay in a job for life:

  • Your company ceases trading
  • Your company buys another company, or is itself acquired by another organisation, and a re-organisation of roles, affecting your position, takes place as a result
  • Your company decides to make your role redundant because of poor financial performance, changing market conditions, relocation, increased use of technology, or for any other reason
  • Your company changes the nature of your role as part of a re-organisation

Only around half of UK workers have been in their current position for five years or more.

If and when your existing role comes to an end, then you may not be able to carry on doing exactly the same thing in another company. You may need to look at moving into a slightly different line of work, or even at starting a new, completely different career.

It is not realistic to be constantly on the lookout for new roles throughout your working life. However, you always need to be alert to the possibility that you could need to find a new role at short notice (after all, how much notice does your employer need to give you under your contract of employment – three months, one month?)

You should therefore always be thinking about how you can acquire new skills and experience. Even if you aren’t looking for a job at the time, keep your CV on computer and update it with your new skill. If and when you do get the dreaded redundancy letter, then you can be much better prepared for the future, and who knows, redundancy could herald a new role that you really enjoy.

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