Sunday , 9 December 2018
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A Job for Life

One of the most stressful things in life is looking for a new job – this is true for anyone, but doubly so for people who find it difficult or awkward to sell themselves. For some, merely being honest about their achievements and presenting themselves in the best light feels uncomfortably close to bragging. As the deadline draws closer and closer, stress increases: crashing out of your job without a replacement lined up means you start to drain your savings, if you have any. Running out of savings means trouble.

One way to avoid this anxious cycle is to find that increasingly rare thing in 2018, a job for life. This used to be the standard among workers: you’d begin as an apprentice, a junior clerk or a postboy, and work your way up through an organisation by promotion rather than interviewing elsewhere. Moves to different companies were still done, but were motivated by the lack of opportunity for advancement at home rather than that being the only way to find a more senior post.

A Job for Life

These days, if you’re looking for a job for life to avoid the stress of the job search in the open market, you need to look for big, stable organisations where skills are in demand and institutional knowledge is almost as valuable as the skills of the job. You are almost bound to look into large public bodies for your ‘job for life’ opportunity – even large, long established businesses in the private sector tend to be carried by modern hiring practices, with outside hires preferred to promotions, and a multi-company CV expected.

That leaves you with the government, local and national and the NHS. The great advantage of these big businesses is that they can provide a home for almost any skillset: the NHS is not merely highly qualified doctors and nurses: they also require people in allied health disciplines that have less onerous qualifications: physiotherapy jobs, speech therapy jobs and so on are just as much in demand, as well as back office jobs like recruiters, administrators and procurement staff, all benefitting from the NHS pension scheme and benefits package. Another benefit to working for a national organisation is that it makes relocation relatively easy: wherever you go in the country you’ll likely find yourself in demand!

Similarly the government isn’t simply senior civil servants, sipping sherry and attending to the bureaucracy of the country. The civil service requires junior researchers, copy writers, IT specialists, all of whom require vetting, which makes it to the employer’s benefit to keep people as long as possible: once you’re trusted by the organisation, you’re at home there for as long as you want to be, truly a job for life!

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