After 35 years of dedicated service to a job he could count on everyday, my father retired from his company in 1985 with a good pension. Unfortunately, many of us will not see such a reward for the years we put into our careers. In fact, most of us won’t spend our entire lives working for the same employer.
The American dream of retiring from a company after working there a lifetime is no longer a realistic expectation for today’s workforce. Instead, thousands of workers who entered the workforce believing in retirement benefits have fallen victim to company downsizing, or rightsizing, as the process may be labeled today in an effort to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
How can we survive in a work world where there is no job security? Today’s job security must come from within. Each of us must ensure his or her own job security by becoming so competent and so self-confident in whatever we do that we can do it anywhere.
How do we accomplish this?
- We must adopt an assertive learning style by earning that college degree or by finishing that advanced training.
- We do it by attending professional seminars and networking with colleagues.
- We do it by becoming experts in our fields, sharing our knowledge and showing others that we have what it takes to do it best.
- We ask our companies for cross training and we volunteer our services for special projects.
- We constantly search for ways to update our skills, knowing that change is the only constant in today’s workplace.
- Acknowledge that no one is indispensable; don’t take your job for granted.
- Accept the fact that everyday we must continue to earn the right to keep our jobs.
Build your job security by taking risks. Submit that application for a new and challenging position, even if you are comfortable and satisfied with your present job. Always be ready for the unexpected. Don’t ignore the proverbial “writing on the wall.”
Did you know that the best time to write your resume is immediately after starting a new job? That way you always have your resume up-to-date and ready to go on short notice. Have you ever seen that perfect position in the Sunday help wanted ads, but didn’t have the time with your busy work schedule to write a resume and submit it before the application deadline?
The worst time to write your resume is when you are hit with an unexpected termination or layoff. Emotions will take their toll when this happens making it next to impossible to organize your thoughts into a sharp, professional resume. Instead, be prepared!
Become friends with the unknown. Embrace change as an opportunity for career growth. “Fortune favors the bold,” is an observation from Virgil, a wise poet of long ago, that holds true even today. Are you bold enough to create your own job security? You will need to do just that to survive in this rapidly changing work world of the new millennium.
Our economy has endured many layoffs over the past several years. While the economy has definitely improved of late, do not take your job for granted. Don’t wait until the proverbial handwriting appears on your own company’s wall. Take charge of your own career so that you can design for yourself a happy, productive life.