With the unsteadiness of the employment rate and the unfortunate occurrence of businesses having to lay off employees, it’s natural to long for a feeling of safety with your career. It might not be something that’s 100% attainable, but it’s important to know you do have some power when it comes to increasing your job security and financial stability. If you’re unsure of what you can do, here are a few tips and hints to help give you a little reassurance.
Become Well Rounded in Your Industry
To really improve your job security, you have to show your employer how much of an asset you can be to the company. Instead of focusing solely on excelling at your own position, try and become multi-functional. Ask early on in your career about the possibility of cross training, so that you can perform more than one of the assigned duties in the company. This will demonstrate your value and reduce your chances of being brought up in discussions of whom to layoff.
At the same time, it’s vital to know the industry you’re working in, even if you’re playing a minor role. Having this knowledge allows you to participate in discussions about the field of work you’re involved with, and that alone will make a positive impression and help you stand out to higher-ups.
Go the Extra Mile
The most respected and sought after employees are the ones who will do what no one else will. Volunteer to take on the most difficult projects, stay late once in a while, and spend some free time strategizing possible solutions to current conflicts. Accountability is a huge trait that companies look for, so do all you can to make that one of your strongest attributes.
Be a Team Player
Aside from a strong, dependable work ethic, employers like to see someone who looks out for the company as a whole, not just themselves. Show you can work well with others by helping co-workers who need it as well as offering praise when another staff member excels. Being someone who is genuinely pleasant to be around and talk to goes much farther than being a self-righteous team member with a negative attitude.
Build Connections Outside the Company
As much as you might enjoy your current position, true job security means opening up your options. This doesn’t mean you have to send off your resume during your current employment, but the truth is that companies do cutback on employees as well as shut down completely. Putting all your eggs in one basket can be a dangerous tactic for your future career path. Network with other business professionals, develop your online presence, and be aware of current openings you’d be qualified to fill. Having a plan ahead of time allows you to react fast to any changes in your current circumstance.
Think Wider and Insure Your Lifestyle
When thinking about job security, it’s important to think about what it is you’re actually trying to secure. Why would losing your job be an undesirable thing? Unless you’re one of the lucky few, it’s most likely not because you absolutely adore what you do, but rather to keep your current life habits and demands in check.
Paying for your bills, food, luxury items, and recreational activities are dependent on your ability to earn your own income. It’s not just job loss that can put a halt on your ability to provide for yourself; illness or injury could do the same thing, so investing in income protection insurance (an insurance that covers up to 75% of your income if you were too sick or hurt to work) is a way to go one step further to protect your financial security.
There is no such thing as total and absolute job security, but there are things you can do to come as close as you can to reaching it. Do what you can to go above and beyond the standard expectation for your position, keep your options open, and insure your income against unfortunate circumstances. If you can do all that, rest well knowing you’ve done all that’s in your control.
Arlene Chandler is a freelance writer and finance nerd who frequently posts on career blogs and financial planning sites. She currently writes about how to protect your career and income for Suncorp.