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Income Security vs. A Bunch of Other Ideas

November 6th, 2008

Yesterday I talked about the idea of Income Security.  A few weeks ago I brainstormed where this came from on LinkedIn Answers, and asked for input.  I got over 57 responses, and it was awesome learning from others.  Here is what others had to say (read their entire responses here):

Jeff Harris said:

Income sounds more like an investment strategy. I like to call it career confidence or employment confidence. Having been in IT with all of its volatility, I gauge 3 factors in employment measurement;

Keith Harrell-Steward said:

It sounds good. But language is a tricky thing, Having income security is part of Job Security. But then it might not be if your focus was to maintain or improve income and your company was experiencing cut backs which resulted in no monetary increase.

Paul Jones says:

Income Security is close, but I don’t think it hits all the right bases. It sounds like something from one of Robert Allen ‘Multiple Streams of Income’ books. His point is that you need more than one pan in the fire…. But JibberJobber and Jason Alba aren’t about either of thise ideas…. JibberJobber is about job insurance.

Susan Travers asks:

What about Career Enthusiasm?

Thomas E. Kenney says:

The term I like to use is “career insurance.”

Reason being is that “insurance” implies two things:
1 – insurance requires an investment,
2 – insurance provides dividends when necessary.

Chip Hartman says:

the best term I can think of is: “career equity

Bill Florence says:

I don’t think there is anything that is secure or guaranteed unless your the recipient of a mega annuity for life. I see two parts to how the word ‘security’ is used here – one is duration, the other is amount.

Bob Schecter says:

Try “tenure“.  It doesn’t guaranty your job, but it at least requires some compelling or just cause for losing it.

Bob Waldo says:

Try “marketability“. The only way to stay ahead of the curve and maintain gainful employment is to maintain a marketable skill set.

Aaron Huston says:

… “employment viability“, which directly relates to both job, career and income security…

Pete Johnson says:

The example he gives is that if you took away Bill Gates’ money, property, and securities, if you stripped him of everything except the clothes on his back, he’d get hired someplace in less than an hour. Why? Because he has knowledge in his head and relationships with people in industry that are in demand. His Human Capital keeps him employable.

Charles Caro says:

The best one might hope for these days is “job stability” or “career stability“, but even that may be overly optimistic. Perhaps something like “sustainable career” would be more fitting.

Heather Gardner says:

You can use the term “Career Security” to some extent.

Maxine Hartley says:

I think the new security is knowledge, being/staying current – basically having a consulting mentality.

Ken Schneider says:

I’d go with lifestyle security

Thomas Clifford (Director Tom) says:

Career confidence.”  Feeling secure is really about feeling confident, right?

Stephanie Hester says:

I agree with the folks that said “income security” implies much more than a job/career. … That being said, I like the suggestions of “employment viability” and “career confidence.”

Curtis Koch says:

Knowledge Security“, coming from the Cobol back ground this may help in the future for securing a position with larger corporations.

John Kemp says:

Try “Self-Employed“; you can be sure that the boss you then work for at least listens to you!

Carolyn Greco says:

I think we’re stuck with ‘job security,’ Income security starts sounding like stock, bonds, etc. This is like trying to change the word ‘outplacement.’ – The terms are too entrenched in existing lexicon.

Greg Hyer says:

Maybe we should consider using the existing phrase “Quality of Life” rather than job security?

Mike Powers says:

Remember when “Disaster Recovery” was re-framed as “Business Continuity?” Maybe we should call it “Career Continuity!”

Arion Holliman says:

Income Security - My vote is cast in favor of Income security, while it may sound like an investment, it should.

Danette Howell says:

income security or even career security depending on which direction you might want to take.

Susan Geary says:

I use the term “Career Assurance” and recommend that everyone keep a detailed file with employee performance evaluations, award certificates, training certificates, nice emails, letters of recommendation, official job descriptions, and of course, old resumes.

John Reinke says:

I think the term you are looking for is “Success Security“?

Gerald Lo says:

I favor “employability” as it seems slightly more dignified than “mercenariness.”

Bengt Wendel says:

I prefer the word “employable“, a translation from a Swedish term (anställningsbar). You can do your best to be employable, build a network and keep knowledge up to date.

Polly Pearson says:

I like the notions of employability and career assurance … in my view it all comes to down to “Relevance.”

Lois Geller says:

How about Job Ownership?

Jason King says:

I definitely think income security is a better word. Because truthfully, not many of us would be devastated if our job ended, as long as we could maintain or improve our income/financial standing. I think this is why people don’t care much about their old job when they get a promotion to a new/better job. Even if there isn’t a raise immediately, they see that their marketability has just improved.

Carlos Hernandez says:

Approaching the security aspect whether it be career, job or income is a process that appeals to many.

Anthony Bowen says:

Income security descibes what I believe most people are aiming for, not “career security”. I can get a job doing what I want in a stable organization for a substantially less amount of money than in a prior job. Your career would be secure, but not your income. Plus, income security can be return on investments toward retirement; a second activity that promises to provide more income, or even marrying a wealthy spouse!

Makini Harvey says:

I offer “career focus” as a choice. I encourage my clients to focus on their careers rather than a job because it allows them to think long term rather than something they need to do for the moment, even during difficult times.

Billie Sucher says:

I like “career resilience” — careers, jobs, and work are constantly in a state of change and flux. Resilience, to me, sounds authentic…keep moving forward, respond, bounce back in positive, meaningful, constructive ways to meet today’s ever-changing workplace needs and demands.

Daniel Harmon says:

you might try something that focuses less on the money and more on the person’s value. Like your “perpetual marketability“, “perpetual market value“, or “personal value security.”

Karthik. B says:

I will consider “Career Enabler” that is the motivator to take it to the next level in career achievement.

Sheryl Spanier says:

How about “work continuity” which involves staying professionally current, maintaining an abiding interest in your functional expertise, and engaging with others continually…helping, supporting, showing a real ongoing professional commitment.

Susan Ireland says:

I think “income security” is an excellent term.

Alexander Kofman says:

The new key phrase to replace job security is “Entrepreneurship.”

Shazib Khan says:

There is no such thing as Job security, income security, career security etc. in this world and it has never been there. … never rely on one thing, always keep on striving, always help the needy and leave the rest to God.

Dave Maskin says:

… and the answer is: “employment security

Krishnamurthy Hegde says:

The question of ‘job security’ stems from two basic aspects ie Financial Security and Confidence in Competence.  You need both to enjoy life. You need Financial Freedom and Confidence about the value that you can bring on the table.

Bruno Roques says:

I’d suggest “career continuity strategy

Julie Walraven says:

I think the most important thing is that people look at possibilities. Alexander Kofman’s answer of entrepreneurship is a way of looking at possibilities.

Christine B. Whittemore says:

it becomes “personal security” which is a function of confidence, self-motivation, and extreme passion for an area of interest. It’s more than income security because it affects your entirety, and it leads to a nimbleness that allows you to overcome the ups and downs of traditional careers and jobs. But it also requires that you be relentless in remaining relevant.

Thomas York says:

I will suggest two as a starting point of reflection: “Income Risk Management” and “Income Assurance” on the flip side, while “Job Security” may no longer apply, perhaps you might think of “Career Risk Management” as an alternative.

Allan Wind says:

Employment variability might be another way of saying no job security, and actively managed life style the solution.

Kathleen Wood says:

The only real job security we have is our ability to consistently provide value. Periodically the job changes, but as long as you provide value- rest assured the world will reward that and hence, some security exists.
so reframe the phrase from security (to stay in one position) to Job opportunity or “opportunity to provide value

Michael Wolff says:

“self empowerment” leads to “relationship security”, leads to “income security” and “personal fulfillment“…

Adrienne P. Wilson says says:

So I would go for “vocational security.

Charlotte Weeks says:

I actually like “Career Security.” I feel like “Income Security” applies strictly to finances. When I hear “Career Security,” what comes to mind is skills and experience that can be adapted to future positions.

Matt Youngquist says:

Despite all of the interesting interpretations and suggestions your question has sparked, I actually think you had the right term pegged properly from the outset.

Brandon Wright says:

I agree. Income is the bottom line, that is why we work (or don’t if we have enough of it). We don’t hunt for a job, we hunt for income.

Anthony Leaton says:

Maybe you’re looking at risky yet financially viable employment

Sharif Mansur says:

I use the phrase “career skill sets.” It’s difficulty to speak of “security” and “insurance,” as they imply a guarantee. Speaking in terms of “skill sets” lets the person focus on emplyable skills they can take to another company or industry.

Kankesh P.S. says:

Income can come from multiple resources and channels to a single person by way of the same type of profession. So it is very hard to replace ‘job security’ with ‘income security’.

I think I’m going with Income Security… not because I don’t like the others, but Income Security is still the only phrase that just jumps out at me as the right phrase.  What do you think?

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3 Responses to “Income Security vs. A Bunch of Other Ideas”

  1. Neil G. says:

    Job security limits the scope to having a job and doesn’t deal with, for instance, whether that job is covering the financial needs that you have at that time. The self-employed understand this point very well.

    I think the point is that I don’t care where my money is coming from, as long as I can weather challenges that come my way. These challenges can come in the form of instability in your job, but other life events can also throw off the balance of your finances.

  2. Jason, great question to be asking. Great answers received from people.
    I coined the term Career Equity(TM) back in 2003 because I care so much that talent really ‘get’ why doing proactive, strategic, and authentic career management will protect their employability and get them paid their true value to companies. Most people career like a tenant, not building themselves the choice, the control, the freedoms, and the accumulated wealth that an owner enjoys. Career ease, access, meaning and rewards are available to any of us — for free — if we systematically run our careers rather than just apply for jobs when needed. It’s about really figuring out why your strengths matter to a certain boss, and forming the informal ties that make you the familiar and best person for your next boss to pick. You can cross over to entirely new, different work you never did before, if you play it this way. Interested readers may enjoy my educational site on this.

  3. [...] trusted that family company leadership again.  I’ve learned, too many things can change, and job security is a farce.  And, I kind of felt that getting rid of this chip on my shoulder would make me lose [...]

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