Would a lack of proven job stability put you off a company?
- February 23, 2018
Job stability is an important consideration for many people when they are looking for a new position. Likewise, it can also affect your decision as to whether to stay with a company or leave. These push and pull factors vary in importance to different people, which is why we’ve put together this guide on factors to consider when looking for a new role. First, it’s important to consider how important job stability is to you. Secondly, this article will help you determine things to look out for which suggest good stability.
How important is job stability to you?
The first question to ask yourself when seeking a new position or deciding to stay with a company, is actually how important is job stability to you? If the thought of risk leaves you cold, especially where your job is concerned, then look for well-established companies that demonstrate year on year growth.
If you’re happy to take a little more risk and you feel that job stability is not a deciding factor for you, then maybe a start-up is more suited to your goals and personality. The potential for job insecurity with a start-up is greater, but so too is the chance to make a real impact and shape the company. Plus, as any investment banker will tell you, the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward. If you weigh up your options and find that a greater degree of risk, or uncertain job stability in this case, is something you can live with, the rewards may pay off in the long run. The key is really knowing what you’re comfortable with, and how important stability is to you and your lifestyle.
Good indicators of job stability
If you’ve established that a lack of job stability would put you off working for a company, there are some important factors to consider.
Key Performance Indicators: KPIs are something we’re all familiar with in our jobs – they give vital clues about how we are performing and where we could improve. The same can be said for businesses. When considering employment with a company, look out for factors such as profitability and year on year growth. Recruitment drives, or other proof that a company is expanding, also indicate the business is performing well and that the prospect of a stable job is good.
Company benefits: A company that offers an attractive benefits package to its employees suggests that they want to attract the best and keep them; in turn that suggests your job will be stable over the long term. Look out for things such as a generous pension contribution scheme, help towards childcare costs or discounts on things that are important to you, such as health insurance. The most important thing is that the benefits match up to what is important to you, otherwise it’s unlikely they will entice you to stay with a company.
Training: Evidence that a company invests in training is an important factor to consider when evaluating job prospects. It costs time and money for a business to train staff, suggesting firstly that the company is financially stable enough to do this. Secondly, highly trained, skilled employees are valuable assets in their own right; if the company puts that effort into training it suggests that your position is more secure in the long term. Look out for companies that actively take steps to train people at all levels: from apprenticeships, opportunities for development and the chance to undertake secondments for senior leaders. A culture of training across all levels of the business indicates a company is laying the groundwork for the future and is here for the long haul.
Flexibility: There are many things that can happen suddenly which might throw a stable company into some degree of disarray. Client demands can change almost overnight, and so can the needs of employees. New technology, political or economic developments can all put pressure on businesses that have hitherto performed well, as has been demonstrated by Brexit. A company’s ability to deal with these sudden shockwaves and ride them out affects their long-term success and your job stability. Companies that are flexible and can cope with these changing circumstances are likely to be the best choice when searching for your next opportunity.
Location: Ok, so this one’s a bit of curveball, as it’s less about what the company can do to prove its stability, attract and retain you, and more about factors in your life outside of work that may impact your decision. It’s important to consider whether working for a company might mean a significant commute and eat up more of your day. Or on the plus side, does it mean your commute will be slashed in half, giving you more free time? What about lifestyle factors: is it close to your gym, your partner’s place of work, or your children’s school? If any of these factors aren’t fulfilled in the way that you’d like by your employment, you may feel restless and the outcome will be the same as if you had an unstable job: looking for work again.
Weighing up job stability
There are many factors which may push you away from one company or pull you towards another. This blog outlines some key points to consider about whether a company is stable and how that translates to the security of your job. Ultimately though, how important any of these factors are, and which apply to you, is down to you. As the final point on location demonstrates, job stability is one aspect that makes up the many push and pull factors when searching for a new position. How that stability interacts with the rest of your life is likely to be a contributing factor to your decision: the most stable job in the world may quickly lose its appeal if the commute is unbearable. Make sure you consider what you want from a job as a whole, and what job stability means to you.
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