The excitement of finally landing a job can quickly fade when you realize that job security doesn’t exist in a fluctuating economy. You can’t control cutbacks and mass layoffs and organizational restructuring. Fortunately, you can control other factors that affect whether or not you keep your job. Find out how to decrease your odds of losing the job you’ve worked so hard to land.
Pick the Right Kind of Job
Different kinds of jobs have different levels of job security. Choose a job in a field that provides essential services that are less likely to experience cutbacks. Or look for jobs in fields in which there are more jobs than well-qualified replacements. Learn what fields are growing. Of the 30 top occupations that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates will get the highest expected employment growth, nearly half are in the service professions, including nursing, retail sales, customer service and food preparation, while others include college teachers, accountants, software engineers and management analysts. Picking the right kind of job is still no guarantee of job security, but it significantly tips the odds in your favor.
Excel at Your Job
Increase your chances of keeping your job by not being the one who’s expendable. Be on time and be reliable. Do quality work. In fact, do better-than-average work. Ask questions when you’re uncertain about a procedure, show interest in further training and responsibility, and solicit feedback about the quality of your work. If the time comes when jobs are on the line, your position will not be the first one targeted if your work is considered essential to the organization.
Play for the Team
A team player who works to benefit not just herself but the organization as a whole is valuable in the workplace. Be friendly, respectful and professional with your co-workers. Offer aid to co-workers who need help. Learn the vision of the organization and keep a positive attitude during times of organizational change.
Relate Well With Your Boss
As stressful as it can be, politicking with the boss is and always has been a part of keeping a job. This doesn’t mean you must “suck up” to the boss. It means there are times when being discreet and diplomatic will earn you more brownie points than being blunt or angry. Even if your working relationship bears some tension, communicate with your boss with courtesy and respect.
Deal With Stress
Manage your personal stress, including any mental or physical health problems, so that any stress you’re dealing with at home doesn’t spill over into your work life. When work stress builds up–and it does in almost any work environment–so will conflict. Don’t let conflict threaten your job. Learn conflict resolution skills. Follow approved procedures for resolving conflict.