On the Job
Is Job Security a Thing of the Past?
No one’s job is 100 percent safe, but there are moves you can make to protect your position
-Dustin Dumas Weeks
In these difficult economic times, we’re all trying to manage our careers to maximize job security. There are three things you can do today to make yourself just that much more indispensable to your employer. They take a bit of extra time and work, but the rewards can be both greater job stability and satisfaction. The most important part is not to let your efforts go unnoticed!
1. Adapt and take the initiative
Look for opportunities at work where you could help your colleagues or streamline a process. For example, if no one is taking on a task that is necessary to keep the department running smoothly, take it on. Don’t wait to be asked. You will be known as the person who gets things done in order to ensure the success of the team. The caveat is that you cannot assume that your manager knows that you are taking on these extra responsibilities; it is especially important to toot your own horn in these times when being able to do more with less is valued.
2. Become indispensable …as much as you can
First, no one is completely indispensable–we have seen that all too well in the past few months. However, you can make “indispensable” your goal. Know how to do your job very well and be the expert in your area so that you become the single point of contact. Also, be willing to share what you know by teaching your peers. This not only helps them, but it also allows you to practice your presentation skills and demonstrates your expertise. In addition, you are more likely to be selected for additional education or training if you are seen as the internal expert. By becoming indispensable, you demonstrate to management that you are willing and capable of working beyond their previous expectations.
3. Think of the big picture
Take some time to understand your entire company, not just your division. This allows you to make better career decisions. Understanding your company includes knowing such things as how your division fits into the entire company, how profitable your division is and how expendable it might be too. For example, if your company makes several products and one of the products will soon be obsolete, know how this will affect you. Does your division produce that product? Is your division making a similar product to the one being targeted? When is the product expected to cease being manufactured? Asking such questions and knowing the answers is important in allowing you to make intelligent decisions about your career. If your division will be affected, you can make plans to make a lateral move to another division, seek a higher position in the company, or even look outside the company. The benefit of understanding your entire company is that it enables you to be nimble and prepare for change.
Dustin Dumas Weeks is an author and career expert with over 15 years of experience in corporate finance, trading and investment banking. She is the author of Lessons From a Recovering Worker Bee, a primer for success in the corporate environment. For more information go to Dustin’s web site.