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Should employers provide 'jobs for life'?

‘Some people believe that employers should provide ‘jobs for life’. Do you agree or disagree with this statement?’

This is a TOEFL essay topic suggested by ETS. A sample response is given below.

Sample essay

Job security is extremely important for leading a life free of worries. We all need to have a secure source of income. It helps us to plan our future wisely. Job security is important for employers too. They spend a lot of time and money in providing training to prospective employees. If employees don’t stay with them, it is a huge waste of resources for the employers. But does that mean that employers should offer ‘jobs for life’? Is it good? Well, in my opinion, ‘jobs for life’ is not good for society because it makes people less productive. Let me explain why.

When an employee realizes that he can never lose his job, he loses the motivation to work. This will affect his productivity. An example of this is the government offices in almost all countries. In most countries, government jobs are ‘for life’. Actually that is what makes them attractive to prospective employees. In most government offices there is no system to reward efficiency. Promotions are always awarded on the basis of seniority. That means you can rise to the top of the organization even if you are inefficient. All that you need to do is to stay in the job. Needless to say most government offices are notorious for their inefficiency. Government workers often take months or even years to finish jobs that can be done in a few days.

In other words, too much job security makes people less efficient. Instead, what we need is a system that rewards meritorious employees. An example of this is the model of capitalism. In many private organizations, an employee can lose his job if he doesn’t deliver satisfactory performance. That prompts them to work harder. No wonder then that companies owned by private managements make more profit than companies owned by governments. Although the model of capitalism has some drawbacks, one has got to admit that it is the most productive system we have seen so far.