There's No Such Thing As Job Security
If you think you're in a "stable" career and are safe in terms of being fired, laid off, or outsourced, you're wrong. Everyone is expendable, and although individuals express loyalty to one another, corporations and companies in general rarely adopt such loyalty to people that have given their lives to the organization. There is no such thing as being indispensable. There are more than 6 billion people in the world, and a lot of them smarter than you. Just consider that the top 25% of the smartest people in China nearly outpopulate the entire United States. The top 10% come close to outpopulating the entire workforce in America. Imagine dropping an A student from China into EVERY job in the US. Yeah. There's a LOT of people out there smarter than you and I.
So what can you do about it?
No matter how long you think you've been supporting a workplace with your exceptional work ethic, and great ideas, and any number of other beneficial factors, ultimately, you are a number on a financial statement on someones desk. If that number contributes to a red bar instead of a black bar one year, your "secure" job goes up in smoke.
Consider these three aspects to help you from falling on your face if that every happens:
1.) Keep in touch with a diverse group of people in your professional network, constantly be adding new contacts to that list. Going to lunch once a month with a former supervisor that you got along well with can be worth another (way better) job down the line if you play your cards right. In the event that your professional network is large enough, and the people in it know of your work and your work ethic, employing yourself through any of those avenues would be a simple task.
2.) Keep a side hustle that can scale up your income simply from putting in more time. I do consulting work in addition to my salary job. I only take on the work that I want because it's all I have time for! In the event that I got laid off or fired from my day job, I could very reasonably ask for my consulting workload to be doubled. This would give me enough income to support my obligations and investments while pursuing new clients, or seeking another full time employer. In this instance, you make your own security.
3.) Practice a skill or trade that can feed you if the world ends. Imagine needing to provide a service for a farmer so you can get some food from him if currency collapses. He needs tools, engines, fuel for his equipment, or perhaps laborers to harvest because he can't do it all himself. Never be above the possibility of needing to exercise basic skills that are going to be in high demand when there isn't a massive infrastructure (country) to support it. People with knowledge of electricity and proper mechanics and physics will be gods in a world where you can't call someone in the phone book to fix your truck.
This post has been particularly morbid, but the good news is that the DOW hit the historic 20,000, higher than it has ever been. Unfortunately, wIth this success comes the risk of instability. The nature of economies is that they never continually go up without going down. The question we must ask ourselves is: when will the next recession hit, and will you be ready for it?