What Is the Definition of Job Insecurity?

What Is the Definition of Job Insecurity

What Is the Definition of Job Insecurity?

What Is the Definition of Job Insecurity?

Job insecurity is defined as a condition of uncertainty over one’s ability to continue working. Workers may suffer acute job insecurity, such as when a layoff or termination is imminent, or chronic job insecurity, which is a more widespread concern of not being able to keep their positions.



Employees who have spent a major portion of their professional life in less-than-stable employment settings are more likely than others to suffer job instability at some time in their careers. However, there is some good news. Here’s everything you need to know about job instability, including how it affects your career and the whole workforce.



Job Insecurity: What It Is and Examples

A worker’s job is said to be insecure when it is less than steady, or when the worker believes it to be such. A worker’s belief that their ongoing employment is more or less assured is the polar opposite of job security.

It doesn’t really matter whether job insecurity is objective or subjective in certain aspects. Stress, worry, and poor affects on mental and physical health are all genuine consequences of job uncertainty, regardless of whether or not a job loss is imminent.



Uncertainty in one’s job title is an alternative name.

Working in a seasonal sector, for example, would be an example of employment instability. As a fulfillment center associate, you may find it easy to land work before the winter holidays, but you may find yourself out of work after the rush is over; as a swim instructor at an all-inclusive resort during the summer, you may find yourself out of employment after the season ends, unless you work in a tropical location.



Job Insecurities Come in a Variety of Forms

Acute work insecurity differs from chronic job insecurity in that it is more immediate. You are suffering extreme job uncertainty, for example, if you believe you may be laid off in the next weeks. You are feeling chronic job insecurity if your firm is doing well and your employer seems to be content with your performance, but there are no assurances that this will continue to be the case and your industry is prone to layoffs.



If the latter sort of situation seems familiar, it’s because it applies to the vast majority of workers in the United States. Employees in the private sector are deemed to be employed at will in 49 states and the District of Columbia, unless they are covered by an employment contract that specifies otherwise. 1 Employers are only required to establish “good cause” in Montana when dismissing workers, and only after a mandated probationary period has expired.  This implies that, in the majority of states, employees may be fired at any time, for nearly any reason, and without providing any prior warning or explanation.



Employers cannot terminate you for a cause that is deemed discriminatory under federal or state employment law, even if you are employed at will.

Protected characteristics at the federal level include gender, pregnancy, race, religion, national origin, genetic information, and age (40 and older). Your employer is also prohibited from firing you in retaliation for filing a discrimination complaint against you. 



Another sort of work instability is the loss of one’s employment status. Consider the following scenario: your firm is going through a restructure. You keep your employment, but you are moved to a different department or function that is less enjoyable or less aligned with your career objectives. It is possible that the new work may pay less or provide fewer prospects for promotion.

While not as financially unpleasant as losing your work in the near term, job uncertainty may have a negative impact on your overall job satisfaction and engagement.



How Job Insecurity Affects Employees

Job uncertainty may have serious consequences for the physical and emotional wellbeing of employees. Job uncertainty has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, ulcers, migraines, back pain, and sleeplessness, according to research. In addition, employment insecurity increased the likelihood of employees engaging in harmful habits such as smoking. 4

Employees’ health has been found to be harmed even by the thought of job uncertainty, according to research. According to the researchers, this is due to a lack of support and coping mechanisms. In other words, if you are laid off, you may already know what to do next—contact human resources to find out what to do next, inquire about severance or training help, investigate unemployment benefits, and so on. However, if you merely have a suspicion that your job is unstable, you may be unsure of what to do next. 



Jobs with job stability vs jobs with job insecurity

Position security refers to the ability to anticipate continuing work, which is often at the same job or with the same organization. Some businesses and occupations provide an unusually high level of job security in light of the present economic climate. Jobs covered by a collective bargaining agreement or an employment contract fall under this category.


Most other private-sector occupations are insecure to some degree, which means that there is no assurance that they will be retained.

If you work in a job function or sector that is in decline, or for a firm that is experiencing financial difficulties, you may be more vulnerable to job instability. Startups have the potential to be very profitable, but they are also quite insecure since many fail.

Furthermore, certain organizational cultures are structured around short-term performance rather than employee retention. It’s fairly unusual for really successful technology businesses to have median employee tenures of just a year or two, especially in the high-growth sector. 



In addition, there is a rising portion of the workforce for whom job instability may be unavoidable. Instead of working for an employer, freelancers, contractors, and entrepreneurs may be required to work on a project-by-project or on a limited basis for customers. These self-employed employees may not be able to predict where their paychecks will come from the next week or the following month, and, depending on the number of customers, they may not be able to scale up or down their company as required.


How to Deal with Job Instability

Unless you work for the government or in a union, you will almost certainly suffer some amount of job instability throughout your working life. The most effective strategy to deal with it is to admit that it is a fact and make plans in accordance with it. Here are a few pointers:

Be loyal to yourself, rather than to your employer: Even if you like your job, your coworkers, and the objective of your firm, you should be aware that just a small percentage of employees in the United States remain with the same employer for an extended period of time. Maintain an up-to-date résumé, keep your skills current, and keep your eyes and ears peeled for new prospects as well as signals that a layoff may be coming.



Concentrate on more secure opportunities: Can’t stand the thought of being uncertain? Make a change that will help you to be more secure in your profession. Look for positions in the government, union-backed sectors, or in companies that have a reputation for retaining their employees.
Investigate the following in-demand talents in your field: Include these abilities in your toolkit. Having a hot skill or qualification may not help you maintain your current job, but it will almost surely help you find a new one if you ever need or want to change jobs.




Takeaways to Remember
Job insecurity is defined as a worker’s condition of uncertainty regarding their future job, whether that concern is real or imagined.
The vast majority of private-sector workers in the United States are hired at will, which implies that their employers may terminate them for nearly any reason, or for no reason at all, with or without warning.
The likelihood of job security is higher in union positions, government occupations, and other jobs that are protected by an employment contract.
Being loyal to yourself rather than your company, looking for more secure possibilities, and studying and learning in-demand skills are all effective ways to cope with job uncertainty.

READ MORE—How do you plan a business? Job Opportunities for Self-Employed Individuals Tips for Selecting the Best Outplacement Services

What Is the Definition of a Returnship?

A returnship is a paid internship for professionals who have taken a break from their employment for a few years or who are moving into other fields. Returnships assist organizations who are struggling to recruit suitable individuals for skilled roles, in addition to providing employees with an opportunity to break into high-paying, high-growth areas.




Does a returnship make sense for you? You should be aware of the programs that are offered, as well as their qualifications, expectations, and possible rewards.

Returnships are defined and shown by the following examples:
Returnships are programs that help professionals who have been out of the job for a period of time, usually to care for small children or family members, go back into the workforce. Those who have substantial gaps in their job experience are encouraged to apply for these paid internships. Returners may be working parents, caretakers, or other professionals who have had to put their professions on hold for a length of time due to family obligations.




According to research, job seekers with résumé gaps are 45 percent less likely to get interviewed than those who have a consistent employment history.


A job transition may be possible as a result of these programs. Workers who formerly held employment in areas that are in decline may be able to utilize returnships to shift to fields with more stable occupational outlooks. Some programs mention “underemployed” as a qualification for participation in their programs. These programs may also serve as a stepping stone to civilian work for veterans who are transitioning from their military service.




Returnships often include mentoring and other forms of assistance, as well as training and skill development. It is possible for returners to be of any age or gender and to come from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Some programs may need a baseline skill set, but many are available to individuals who can show a love for the fundamental functions of the profession. Some programs may have prerequisites, but many are not. Returnships may last anything from a few months to many years, and they may culminate in an offer of a full-time position upon completion.

Employee returnships are more likely to be offered by employers in high-skilled areas such as technology. Amazon, Comcast, Expedia Group, Northwell Health, SAP, and T. Rowe Price are just a few of the companies that have returnship programs in place. 




Alternative names for this program are return-to-work program and re-entry program.
Returnships and How They Work
For those who qualify for returnships, there are many avenues for locating such positions. Many companies that offer return-to-work programs post job openings on their jobs websites. In this case, start your search on the company’s website if you have a certain employer in mind.

Do not notice a program at your desired workplace on this list? Contact us! Inquire with human resources to determine whether they now provide returnships or if they intend to do so in the near future.



Returnships may also be found via specialized job boards or internet sites that are devoted to assisting returning employees. A comprehensive list of return-to-work initiatives at companies in a number of sectors, including banking, technology, energy, and consumer goods is available on the iRelaunch site. Path Forward, a nonprofit organization, has returnship partners all across the United States, including some in rural locations.

Fill out the application form and submit a cover letter if permitted by the job posting or employer portal. In your cover letter, emphasize your enthusiasm for the position, as well as any relevant skills and experience. Keep in mind that companies are seeking for skill and trainability rather than the “ideal” background for the position.




If you are selected, you will most likely spend many weeks or months acquiring new skills and getting training and mentoring from specialists in the industry.

Advantages of Returnships
The most apparent advantage of returnships is that they may result in the immediate acquisition of a new employment. After completing the program, you may be given a position with the company. If you do not find employment with the organization that sponsored your returnship, you will most certainly find yourself in a far better situation than when you first arrived. You’ll leave with a new set of abilities and significant job experience to share with potential employers. In addition, you’ll be able to fill in the blank on your CV.




Returnships provide an excellent chance to establish a strong professional network in a new sector. Your colleagues, bosses, and mentors may be excellent sources of support and guidance, as well as resources for future job referrals, references, and recommendations.




Takeaways to Remember
Returnships assist experts in returning to their previous jobs. Participants in these programs may re-enter the workforce or change occupations whether they are caregivers, working parents, veterans, or other employees.
Employers gain from returning employees. Companies with a strong need for qualified personnel might use these programs to recruit individuals who are highly engaged and passionate.
Candidates may learn about return-to-work programs from a number of different sources. Job seekers should go straight to the employer’s website or look for positions on job boards and online tools such as iRelaunch and Path Forward.
The advantages of returnships extend beyond the opportunity to find work. Develop your network, seek out mentors, and seek out assistance from others in your new area of endeavor.

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