Lifetime Employment – Apply Here

By: Leon Shivamber



Only customers guarantee employment, and only so while you are creating value for that customer.

Leon Shivamber
Happy man celebrating lifetime employment
Happy man celebrating lifetime employment

Since the 1950s, Japan’s labor markets have been characterized by several distinctive features. Perhaps the most notable among them is “lifetime employment,” the practice at large firms of hiring workers directly out of school and retaining them until a mandatory retirement age (originally age 55, now around 60 for most companies).

From Job Security in Japan: Is Lifetime Employment on the Way Out? – Brookings Institution

Lifetime employment used to mean staying with a company until retirement. However, as the workplace has evolved, few workers are interested in staying at a single company until retirement. The chart below shows how dramatically this effect has played out in different countries around the world (with Americans staying on average only 4 years per job).

Average Employment Tenure By Country
Average Employment Tenure By Country

The question of lifetime employment has therefore shifted to the possibility of being employed (at any company) until expected retirement. The challenge of staying relevant in the workforce has been exacerbated by concerns over the rapid shift of manufacturing and service sector jobs to lower wage regions around the world.

What can you do to stay employed, and not become a victim of these dynamic shifts in the global economy?

For my answer, I build on my three fundamental strategy beliefs, which focused on what companies needed to do to be sustainable over time. I think it’s equally relevant to the employee. Thus:

  1. Customers always choose the best available
  2. The best is always changing
  3. Only employees capable of change are sustainable.
Your company can't guarantee you a job, your government cannot, not your union rep, nor your boss. Only customers guarantee employment Please Click To Tweet

In simple terms, your company can’t guarantee you a job, your government cannot, not your union rep, nor your boss. Only customers guarantee employment, and only so while you are creating value for that customer.

  • Who is your customer? Today? In the future?
  • What does that customer want? Will want?
  • What skills are implied by the current customer needs and how will they change over time?
Only customers guarantee employment, and only so while you are creating value for that customer. Please Click To Tweet

To stay relevant and experience lifetime employment, you must have answers to these questions and a personal development plan that allows you to change faster than your customers (employers) are changing. That I argue is the only way to ensure you have lifetime employment!

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15 thoughts on “Lifetime Employment – Apply Here”

  1. As they say we need to be globally competitive in order to follow the trends,i do agreed in this article that nothing will remains constant when it comes to job and customers are the one who give you a job not a company it self..I realized many things while reading this…

  2. Yeah thats a really good concept but in india this is only for government jobs peoples are in india want a government job and they are happy do be in the same job for their whole life time they feel it like their lifes are secured with a government job.

    Your Gov Job

  3. This is the right webpage for everyone who really wants to understand this topic.
    You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need
    to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic that’s been discussed for many years.
    Great stuff, just wonderful!

  4. Job security is an important concept these days, we need security in every aspect of our lives, we really need to feel secure. That’s why in India everyone keeps pushing for government jobs, even my mom forces me to quit dreams of becoming good blogger and look for a good government job! :P
    Staying employed is good. But we should also focus on building value!

  5. Glad to know about this useful information. In India, only Government staff can be a favor of lifetime employee. There is no assurance on sustainable employment other than a government appointment. There will be no unemployed if they follow Japan country i suppose. Thanks for providing the great information.

  6. I think that companies should really look to new strategies for employee retention. Oftentimes, companies will find that the best talent doesn’t stick around for very long, and that’s often on the companies’ shoulders. The culture of a team needs to have a very distinct direction, and steps need to be taken to ensure that employees feel that their time is well spent at a company for years at a time.

  7. Looking at the tenure, this seems like a really big problem! I think that if you make the environment, or the work place, a much more friendly place, then it will be a place that people will want to come to more often and will want to stay longer.

  8. Thanks for providing this useful information. Was unaware about this present situation in the market. And I agree with you Andrew. I liked your concept of sustainable employment.

  9. Thanks for making us aware of these issues nowadays. Everyone of us is a recipient of we call “sustainable employment.” Thus, everyone of us needs to find a company that could offer us sustainable employment, not lifetime employment until you retired. We have a freedom to choose, and I would agree four years is enough to stay in a company and then find another company that would best utilize our capabilities. I find this lucrative. But anyway, thanks for sharing your brilliant ideas regarding this.. I’m keeping in touch.

  10. In a perfect world, for some people, working for only one company until retirement age would be…well….perfect! Of course, that would hardly ever work where I live in the United States because so many companies experience success on the backs of their employees who work for peanuts, regardless of how loyal they are.

    In the U.S., for the most part, companies and government could care less about the small guy who goes out and busts his or her tail for salaries that never catch up to industry standards.

    Many companies and small business owners can take your important points (customers choose the best, the best is always changing, etc.)and use them to their advantage but most never will because they only care about themselves without realizing it’s the workers who make their companies a success.

    Bottom line; people, get your entrepreneurial spirit in high gear and forge your own destiny to be successful so you don’t have to worry about ever working for someone else ever again!

  11. Actually its an excellent and wonderful feature. Glad to know about this concept. In India, if the person get job in Government sector that person’s called lifetime employee. other than this non of the other sector giving job security.

  12. Glad to have such information. If such kind of facilities available then how peoples are still unemployed. It is for every country or only for Japan??


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