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June 12, 2018
What's More Important: Salary or Job Security?
Which excites you more? A job with long-term security that you can really sink your teeth into, or a job with an impressive pay packet and a dash more risk?

It seems the nation is fairly divided on this topic, with 51% of young professionals and 59% of older professional telling Pew Research that job security was their top priority. What are the pros and cons of chasing security versus salary? And once you've made your choice, how can you increase your chances of finding the best job to meet your needs?

Job Security For Continued Investment In Your Future 

If job security is your focus, the chances are you're looking to invest in your future by landing a job that is at less risk of layoffs, and keeping it.

This approach definitely has some benefits:
  • A feeling of security at work;
  • Less constant need to impress in order to keep your job; and
  • Opportunities for growth within your company.

On the other hand, putting job security first has its downsides:
  • Losing out on opportunities if they don't offer the same benefits as your current position;
  • Risk of stagnating or becoming bored with your job; and
  • Not developing up-to-date and transferable skills that you may need if your job security should wane.

If job security is your priority, there are a few things you can do to keep up to date and put yourself in the best position to land a job that offers the security you're seeking:
  • Choose your area — think about specializing in a career where job security will always be relatively high, such as the medical field, engineering, or social work;
  • Show that you can do the same job long-term while staying fresh — take leadership responsibilities in your team, engage in continuing professional development, and stay dynamic within your current role; and
  • Develop skills and interests outside of work — that way, your current employer and any future employers will see that you're a multifaceted person who has more strings to their bow than job-based longevity.

Good Pay For a Brighter Today 

There's an old saying, “horses for courses,” and as the figures show, job security wins out by a margin. But among younger professionals especially, the margin isn't huge.

For some people, good pay and the possibility of continuing career expansion is the most important thing.

Going for the top salaries often means:
  • Plenty of disposable income to enjoy or invest;
  • A well-respected job; and
  • The motivation to look for higher-ranking and better-paid jobs.

But this list wouldn't be complete without a quick look at the downsides:
  • More pressure to perform in order to keep a job;
  • The need to strategize for possible future job loss; and
  • Changing jobs more often.

If the size of the pay packet is your first priority, there are some things you can do to help yourself:
  • Go for a career path that has consistently good pay, such as a pharmacist, marketing manager, or CEO;
  • Brush up on the people skills and networking skills that you'll need to get to the top; and
  • Make yourself indispensable with a dazzling skill set, great teamwork, and a finger on the pulse of all the latest developments.

Whichever path you choose, continuous learning and development of new skills coupled with some impressive people skills will stand you in good stead, whether you go for the safer bet or the larger pay packet.
Of course, some jobs that pay well are also those that offer good security, such as some of the medical and allied professions; if you can seek out such a job, you'll find you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
So, which is more important to you — security or salary?

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Tristan Anwyn is a freelance copywriter who specializes in alternative health, marketing, SEO, and online reputation. He has worked for clients across the board and enjoys helping them to express their unique selling points in a clear, concise way.
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