May 182009
 

How do you keep your job secure in an unstable economy? If you’re worried about losing your job, these long-term career tips for getting ahead at work may help.

“In the face of rising unemployment, the best thing workers can do is be financially and professionally prepared for possible job loss,” says Ethan Ewing, president of Bills.com.

If you’re struggling to achieve your career goals, read The 12 Bad Habits That Hold Good People Back: Overcoming the Behavior Patterns That Keep You From Getting Ahead.

And, check out Ewing’s eight tips for getting ahead at work…

How to Keep Your Job Secure – 8 Tips for Getting Ahead at Work

1. Appreciate the work you have. “If you still have a job, start by being grateful that you are employed,” Ewing says. Avoid complaining about your job description, duties, or difficult coworkers. Instead, adopt an attitude of gratitude — and focus on solving your problems at work (such as developing people skills that improve your job performance).

2. Be indispensable on the job. Come in early, stay late, volunteer for extra projects, and get the rest, nutrition, exercise or whatever you need to come up with good ideas and do good work. “No need to ‘brown-nose,’ but every day, ask yourself, ‘How can I be the best employee in this place today?'” Ewing suggests. “Watch for needs and meet them before you are asked to do so.” If you’re worried about your job, it may be a good time to start setting new career goals.

3. Be aware of possible layoffs, future job opportunities, etc. Without parking yourself by the water cooler, pay attention to the rumor mill. If clients are fading into the woodwork, plant closings are rumored, the top managers are sending out signs or the word “bankruptcy” is uttered, your company could be in trouble. Keep your ear to the ground for possible future work opportunities, so you don’t panic if you do lose your job.

4. Polish your resume. Dust off your resume and review it. Does it reflect your current experience? Add recent achievements and professional involvement. If you see gaping holes, take a class, join a group or otherwise fill in the gaps so you are ready to pursue opportunities. This can help you get ahead at work by increasing your self-confidence and awareness of how valuable you are at work!

5. Volunteer at or outside of work. Join a committee in your company, attend events hosted by the local chamber of commerce, become active in a professional organization or donate time to the community. Be professional at all times. If opportunities arise to mention your skills, do so; you never know who will be in a position to help you (or for you to return the favor) one day. If networking doesn’t keep your job secure, it’ll help you get new work in the future.

6. Conserve cash in case of job loss. If your income is at risk because you think you might lose your job, then pay your mortgage, student loans, car payment and other bills as scheduled. Build an emergency financial fund to prepare for a rainy day. Pay down as much debt as possible, but make sure the emergency fund takes priority once your base debt payments are made.

7. Live plainly and simply until your job security returns. Pare down at home. Instead of shopping for fun, sprucing up your wardrobe or redecorating your home, learn to stay in, spend time with friends and family, and spend less money while you wait to see how things pan out in the future.

8. Have a “Plan B” to help you cope with possible unemployment. Make a list of your bills and the priority in which they must be paid. For instance, if you don’t pay a credit card bill, you will face hassles and credit report problems. But, if you don’t pay the mortgage, you could lose your home. Figure out what you would do about medical care and unemployment benefits if you lost your job. Make a list of resources that could be useful in an emergency.

“With luck, your job will be secure throughout the downturn,” Ewing says. “But now is the perfect time to prepare for the future so you can recover as quickly as possible from a distressing job loss or other emergency.”

For more tips on keeping your job secure, read 5 Tips for Achieving Your Career Goals – From Confusion to Clarity.

If you have any thoughts on getting ahead at work, please comment below…

  2 Responses to “How to Keep Your Job Secure – 8 Tips for Getting Ahead at Work”

  1. Being a suck up (I think that’s a syncophant!)could backfire, so I like your advice, Imee!

    When it comes to letting the boss know why he/she hired me, I tend towards overdoing it. I make triple sure that my staying late or doing extra work is notice. I know that’s bad and could also backfire, but I just want to be recognized! And of course, I want to keep my job.

    I guess like anything, a tip for job loss prevention can backfire. Too much of a good thing, sort of.

  2. I too, am glad that I’m still employed. My best advice would probably be do your best–don’t be a suck-up, but don’t forget to show you’re boss why he/she hired you. Still be the best you can be, or be even better–that’s a surefire way of keeping your job even during the financial crisis.

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