Go to contents

For Many, Job Security Comes First

Posted January. 09, 2006 03:16,   


As the 2006 personnel change season begins, many salaried workers want job security more than they want promotions.

According to a new employee report for the first half of 2005 from the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), around 800 candidates, including 316 candidates from Samsung, about 300 from LG, about 100 from Hyundai, and about 40 from SK, submitted applications for 329 job openings.

Park (34), a former assistant manager for a Samsung affiliate, joined KEPCO this year through a publicly-advertised entry-level job application in May 2005. He applied for the government job, which guarantees employment until retirement, due to his concerns that he might be unexpectedly dismissed. “When I put in my resignation, all my colleagues envied me except my team leader,” he said.

An executive of a conglomerate in charge of public relations said, “A lot of executives were cut just two to three years after their appointment, and the number of those who resigned just after one year was not small. As a result of this, most employees tend to seek jobs with security, rather than promotions.”

Oriental medicine schools and graduate schools of education are becoming increasingly popular for professionals seeking mid-life career changes.

Kim (45, senior), the ex-chairman of “Old Students Club” of Kyunghee University oriental medicine department, said, “I was an elite employee working for a leading company, but seeing my senior colleagues being cut earlier than expected made me think that I was depending on the company for my own life. I do not regret what I have done, although I have spent much time and money in studying late.”

It is a worry that the pursuit of long term job security may result in negative side effects, including worker stagnation (generally associated with government jobs) and lower employee loyalty.

Eun-Woo Lee libra@donga.com bae2150@donga.com