Monday, July 16, 2012

Simple math for work security

I am an independant developer and trainer, and sometimes people tells me that I am lucky for now and I should have some job security.

I respond that even though I have no job, I have work security let's do the math :
If people spends in average between 10 and 20 years in their jobs, then it means that they have 5% chance to be fired every year.
If you are independant, chances are that you work for many customers.

 My question is the following : what is the most secure work between a secure job of 5% chance to get fired every year OR an insecure job with N customers that will fire you with a probability of 40% ?

Let's calculate "N" together:
N    %to get fired
1    40%
2    16% (40% * 40%)
3    6.4% (16% * 40%)
4    2.5% (6.4% * 40%)

In other words, knowing 3 differents customers will give you as much work security than a secure job. What is magic with that ?
  • Having one more customer is a linear problem. 
  • Having one more customer improve your work security exponentially.
In other words :
  • Having five customers is as hard as getting 5 times one customer. 
  • Having five customers improve your work security 16 times more than one customer.
Why so much people are attached to job security, when work security is what they need the most ?
It hurts me to see great people begging for a job when I see so much work opportunities waiting for them.

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