A fantastic topic came up over dinner one day regarding how to increase job security in today’s highly volatile economy. The usual tips came up, such as: be invaluable, develop strong internal relationships, and never call in sick on a Friday (slacker). All tips were logical, but the more we drank, the more out of the box we thought until we reached the best employment insurance strategy of them all: Make babies and start a family!
Starting a family could be the #1 way to ensure long term employment. With a family, your employer must not only consider your situation, but the situation of every single person you support.
The more kids you have, the more bullet proof you become! Imagine a scenario where your boss is faced with firing 10 employees out of 100, or 10%. How do you think she chooses?
HOW MANAGERS THINK BEFORE FIRING YOU
The first exercise a manager will conduct is comparing the cost of each employee with the benefits (revenue) generated by the employee.
The second stage of evaluation is figuring out who are the manager’s friends (aka cronyism). The friend of the manager can truly be a friend, or someone who makes the manager look so good, it’s impossible to let that person go.
The third step a manager must think about is what will happen if business revives and she needs to rehire the person let go. The more difficult he or she is to replace, the lower the chance he or she will be let go.
Finally, given most people are not heartless robots, the manager will consider the firing repercussions of not only the at risk employee, but all who depend on him or her.
If there are two equally mediocre candidates, one who is a single woman with no family to feed, and another who is a widowed mother of three children in day care, who do you think the manager will let go?
There’s very little doubt in my mind that if you have a family to take care of, you are at a tremendous advantage in terms of employment security compared to your single or non-married peers. With a family, your boss tests her soul, and goes with the decision that provides the least amount of guilt.
So how about it folks? If you’re petrified about losing your job, you might want to tell your boss you’re pregnant, or are working on starting one big happy family of your own. Once your boss knows, unless she’s the Devil herself, you’ll never be considered a candidate for the chopping block ever again!
If You Want To Quit Your Job
If you want to leave a job you no longer enjoy, I recommend negotiating a severance instead of quitting. If you negotiate a severance like I did back in 2012, you not only get a severance check, but potentially subsidized healthcare, deferred compensation, and worker training. Since you got laid off, you’re also eligible for up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Having a financial runway is huge during your transition period.
Conversely, if you quit your job you get nothing. Check out, How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye, on how to negotiate a severance. I first published the book in 2012 and have since expanded it to 180 pages from 100 pages in the 3rd edition thanks to tremendous reader feedback and successful case studies.
Start your own business: For total job security, you should start your own business and be your own boss. It used to cost a fortune and a lot of employees to start your business. Now you can start it for next to nothing with a hosting company like Bluehost for under $4/month and they’ll give you a free domain for a year to boot.
Brand yourself online, connect with like-minded people, find new consulting gigs, and potentially make a good amount of income online one day by selling your product or recommending other great products. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for starting Financial Samurai in 2009.
Updated for 2020 and beyond.