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. Today, that reality is gone for all but just a very few. Most 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. It's no secret that the American dream of retiring from a company after working there for a lifetime no longer exists. Instead, thousands of workers who entered the workforce believing in retirement benefits have fallen victim to company downsizing, restructuring, outsourcing, and even bankruptcy.
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. We must ensure it by becoming so competent and so self-confident in whatever we do that we can do it or transition it anywhere. We accomplish this by adopting an assertive learning style, by earning that college degree or finishing advanced training. We do it by attending professional training and development opportunities - on our own initiative. We network with colleagues. We become experts in our fields. We ask our companies for cross-training and we volunteer our services for special projects. We constantly seek out ways to update our skills, knowing that change is the only constant in the workplance. Acknowledging that no one is indispensable, we don't take our jobs for granted. Instead, we accept the fact that every day 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. 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 job opportunity, but didn't have the time to update your resume and submit it before the application deadline?
The worst time to write your resume is when you are hit with an unexpected layoff or termination. Emotions will take their toll when this happens making it next to impossible to organize your thoughts into a sharp, professional resume.
Become friends with the unknown. Embrace change as an opportunity for career growth. "Fortune favors the bold," observed Virgil, a wise poet of long ago. That holds true 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 21st century.
We will probably see more layoffs this year, maybe even next, before our economy begins to swing back. Don't wait for the layoff bug to bite you. Take charge of your own career so that you can design for yourself a happy, productive life.