What Does Job Security Mean to You?
As of October 2014, the national unemployment rate was approximately 5.8%. Much better than a few years back. Therefore, having a job indeed, during these times is job security enough for a lot of us. With that said, what does job security mean to you?
For some, as I stated above, is just having one. Great, now let's keep it. In this day and age of advanced technologies, outsourcing, mergers and bailouts, keeping a job is not an easy task. Others, feel secure with longevity and or seniority and even though this is definitely a huge advantage, it may not necessarily mean you will always have a job no matter what. I worry about these people because I have seen people let go regardless of the years of blood, sweat and tears they have put into the job. Once they are let go, often times they have no clue what to do next; how to find a job; how to start over. Is that really feeling secure at our places of employment?
Where Do I Start?
Well, glad you asked! For me, although I am grateful for my job, I like variety. I like a productive, challenging, growing, creative work environment. So, how do I start to build up my own job security? Here are some of the things that have worked for me over the years that have allowed me to almost "recession-proof" myself and attain real job security:
- Assess Yourself : Be honest with yourself first and ask yourself "Is this the job for me?" Does this job open me up creatively? Mentally? Financially? What's in it for me? Make sure you do this at least every year at the job.
- Keep Your Resume Fresh: If you can check your credit report once a year, make sure you update your resume and brush it off. Add, delete, modify, review, edit it all the time. Keep it fresh and ready to go at all times. Like the Lotto, "Hey, ya never know!"
- Search for Jobs Having a Job: Yes, test the waters. Allow yourself to see what's available and what kind of feedback you get. You can always turn down the job or it may just end up being the career of your dreams. And don't forget, apply to different internal postings as well. Don't be afraid, I speak from experience, a real leader will allow you to move on as long as you are not burning your bridges. Keep that in mind.
- Keep On Learning : Don't get stale. Don't get comfortable. Don't allow yourself to become so comfortable with the status quo that you never learn anything passed the job you have had for twenty-years. You are not helping your chances in case of a huge reorganization or company merger if your skills are coined obsolete.
- Get A Part-Time Job: Perhaps you can use the extra money and you have the time and energy to also work on the weekends, or from home or at night. This can also be the one thing that allows you to finanically sustain yourself in case of a lay-off at your full-time job. In addition, you can get a part-time job in an area of interest that you have been wanting to pursue that gives you greater satisfaction than your current employer.
- Volunteer for Projects In Other Departments: If this is allowed at your organization, why not? Not only does this add to your skill repertoire, but it also makes you a great team player! However, make sure your own projects are taken care of first and that your company allows this.
- Network, Network, Network! In this day and age of social media, blogs, emails, texts, and of course-hubs, networking is a NO BRAINER. WORK IT.
- Research: Find out about organizations you are interested in working for. Do your homework and stay abreast of what's going on in your industry.
- Ask For Feedback: You know when you are driving along the street and you see a truck with a sign that says, "How's My Driving?" Well, ask your boss, "How am I doing?" If you have a good rapport with him or her feel free to have a discussion on how you are doing with your tasks and how your boss sees you in the company. Not only will you know what your boss really thinks about your work, but will show you care to make him or her and the organization better if you are on the right track.
- Evaluations: This ties in with number 9. Make sure you have an evaluation on file. This helps you have some leverage when it comes to raises and promotions and allows you to have an official proven track record of your successes, achievements and work quality.
Keep it Moving!
Now that I have given you a quick list of how to strive for real job security let me end this by saying that not only will you feel more confident in your ability to secure your livelihood, but you will attain a variety of skills themselves that employers are always looking for; therefore truly making you and your skills marketeable and malleable in any economy.
In this day of fluctuating and difficult market conditions, job security should not only be a term that describes whether an individual will KEEP his or her job, but an affirmation that he or she will ALWAYS be able to easily attain, maintain and inevitably secure their means of support and income.
Happy job securing!