The Myth of Job Security?
Does anyone really have "job security" in this day and age? Who can look at where they are now in their life or their career and see an unbroken line of employment that extends all the way to retirement age? Can you think of anyone? Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge (son of Prince William and Duchess Kate), maybe? Perhaps.
Barring members of long-standing royalty, all other workers, employees, and the self employed are well aware that "job security" is never a sure thing. Sure, the economy is less susceptible to another ugly downturn at the moment, but it's far from healthy. Even business owners – those who sit behind the big desk in the office with the largest window – are at the mercy of the consumer and the economy. In the not-too-recent past, we've seen Fortune 500 companies go bankrupt, close up shop. We've seen footage on the nightly news of entry-level employees and C-level executives alike carrying cardboard boxes out the front door of the office building. It's a grim reminder that one small change in the market may mean it's time to dust off the old résumé and start looking at who you're connected to on LinkedIn. But is job security really a myth? Is there any way to become that one employee that the company simply cannot do without? Perhaps.
Obviously, any employee at any job can be affected by unforeseen circumstances at any time – there's no doubt about it. But, there are things you can do to become an indispensible asset to the company – one that the company genuinely wants to retain and utilize to the best of your ability for as long as the company is in business. And this is how you start…
Employers, especially those in the upper ranks, love to see employees take an interest in their business, their customers, and their markets. Step one to beating the odds for job security and becoming an indispensible employee is to research your company. Learn what you can about what the company does and who the company benefits. There may come a day when you can use that knowledge to solve a problem or offer insight that others may have overlooked.
Step two is to live the company culture. In many respects, this means you need to believe in the company's Mission Statement, have a good work ethic, affect a cheerful disposition, and show a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty – before somebody asks you to do so.
Third, understand that you're always learning on the job. Every day is a new opportunity to grow your core competencies and build on your skills. If you're looking for a new opportunity in the company, start training and learning for the position today. Cross-training gives you the ability to step in and help out in areas of need when the opportunity arises. And it will!
Lastly, understand that you may need help in getting from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow. An indispensible asset to the company, one who has real job security, is someone that is motivated, determined, resourceful, and connected. Need a mentor? Ask for one. Got an opportunity to rack up some OT and help out another department (while making new network connections inside the company)? Take it.
This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire, temporary placements, and permanent employment placement services.