Where to Find Job Security and Stability for Years to Come
As the unemployment rate continues to rise (13.3 percent in May, according to the Department of Labor) and a recession looms, job stability is becoming more important to workers everywhere. Government jobs and positions in industries closely associated with the government are more secure than in the private sector.
For example, the federal government’s layoff rate was just 0.3 percent for March 2020 compared to 7.5 percent in the private sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Working directly for the government or for a government contractor can translate to much greater job security and stability.
“I’ve always felt secure with my job,” said Peg Kendra, who works at The MIL Corporation as part of a contract with a federal government agency. “We’re an integral part of the organization. We do a good job. They value us. They respect us. They treat us like partners.”
Because of that respect and acknowledgement of work well done, MIL’s financial management support contract in its Charleston, S.C. location has grown from five employees to 170 over the past 20 years. Although the contract must be renewed every five to 10 years, Kendra feels the work provides job stability.
While some sectors have furloughed workers, MIL employees have continued to work. “During the government shutdown (in late 2018/early 2019), we remained employed. Now during the current COVID-19 pandemic we are still employed, which is really a secure feeling,” Kendra said.
Kendra started at MIL in 1998 as a software programmer using COBOL on a Wang computer. She had planned to stay just two years to earn money to pay for her children’s college education. Instead, she has remained with MIL for 22 years, successfully earning a position as a senior vice president of the Global Financial Services sector.
Along with job security, the supportive culture, and the interesting work have been key factors in her desire to stay with MIL. “We interact with people from all over the world. It’s interesting and beneficial to work with people of different cultures,” Kendra said.
MIL carefully recruits personnel to build on its existing culture of people with strong work ethic, who are engaged in their jobs, who like to communicate, who want to learn, and believe in work-life balance, she said.
MIL also encourages internal promotion and position transfers, while providing tuition reimbursement for advanced and continuing education, including associate degrees, doctorates and special certifications.
Throughout her career, Kendra has felt that the company cares about her success. Kendra believes that creating a collaborative, stable, supportive environment, yields positive results.
“I feel empowered,” Kendra said. “There are opportunities to learn, grow and have a successful career.”
Erin Neel, junior operations project manager, can attest to that. Neel started at MIL at the end of 2019, after leaving a contracting job where she felt hiring managers weren’t upfront about future opportunities or what her job responsibilities entailed. At MIL, there have been no unpleasant surprises.
“During the interview process at MIL, I felt like my direct manager was very eloquent and transparent,” Neel said. “Once I started the position, there was no difference between what they stated the job would be, and what the position actually was.”
At MIL, “there are clear opportunities for growth,” Neel said. Contract leadership has encouraged her to pursue additional certifications related to project management and to shadow MIL team members who are IT project managers, she said.
Both Kendra and Neel understand that MIL’s supportive leadership and culture steeped in promoting professional advancement contribute to more stable jobs and more certain career paths.
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