There is no doubt that today’s job market is extremely competitive. With firm’s downsizing and the blurred lines between various legal roles some individuals may resort to holding their job hostage in order to create a sense of job security. Job or position hostaging is when an individual takes various measures to ensure that no one else knows how to fully do all of the functions in their job. This may seem to be a smart move because it places the individual in a position of control in an unstable and uncontrollable job market. An example of job hostaging is when an individual is the only one in the entire office that knows how to effectively use a certain system or when only one person in the entire firm knows how to do a certain function. In the event this particular employee is unexpectedly out of the office due to an unplanned absence, the entire organization is in disarray as everyone scrambles to find out how to do a task that other individuals are reliant on.
If this situation were to occur in a relationship it would quickly be labeled as dysfunctional and abusive. Let’s say one partner has all the pins, passwords, account numbers, and checkbooks to every account that the couple has. The one partner is placed at the mercy of the other for all their financial needs. In the event the partner that has all the account information is ill or placed in a situation that he or she cannot provide the other with the necessary finances the household quickly goes into panic mode.
Job hostaging may seem necessary in a competitive job market but there are other ways to get an advantage and create job security without resorting to job hostaging. When improving intrinsic value is placed over extrinsic measures and practices that are merely manipulative attempts to create and maintain control, then can an individual focus on and exemplify their true value to their organization.
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Llynette Bealer has 20 years experience including working as the Office Manager/Bookkeeper for Junior Achievement of San Diego and various Business Improvement Districts in San Diego, CA. She has worked in mortgage bankruptcy for Chase Home Finance and various law firms.