written by: wearmanyhats•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 5/18/2010
When so many people are unemployed, people become more concerned about keeping their own jobs. The good news is there are solid ways to improve your job security during good times and bad.
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There are several concrete ways to keep secure employment. However, never overlook the obvious such as coming in to work on time, acting and dressing professionally, and only taking legitimate time off. There are other ways to become a valuable employee.
First, talk to your direct supervisor about ways you could become more valuable to the organization and increase your job security. This is not the time to inquire about a raise, but rather how you can help the company become more profitable.Ask if there are ways you can directly improve your work performance. Improved work performance will lead to improved job security. Another tactic to improve job security is to talk to the human resources department to see if there are funds available to pay for you to go to school.If you work for a small business, you may need to do a little research first.Seek out classes or online learning that would help you perform better on the job.While small companies may not be able to afford tuition for a college class, they may pay for books or part of the costs and this will increase your job security.There may also be classes available through the Small Business Development Center or Community Education that are inexpensive.Perhaps it would be beneficial to learn Quickbooks or other software courses.Maybe your typing skills could be improved.Check out the local library to see if the software is available for free to learn how to type more efficiently, and make a point of telling your boss you are trying make yourself more valuable to the business to improve your job security.
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Cross Train to Improve Job Security
Inquiring about being cross-trained in other departments can also increase job security.For example, if you work as a secretary, would they be willing to train you to help out in billing? This helps a company if someone quits or dies, or when there is a backlog of work.If you find extra time on your hands during the work day, think how else you can be useful, then present that solution to your boss.Remember, bosses don’t always have time to find work for you to do, and they know when you are just sitting around. They appreciate you finding some way to contribute. Just don’t neglect your main duties.
Finally, ask a colleague to give you a realistic job performance review, and don’t hold it against that person for an honest assessment.If you are talking too much on your cell phone, you’d rather know now before you get fired for it.Remember, the goal is to keep your job, rather than lose it during a time when other employees are readily available.
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When Efforts Fail to Increase Job Security
Keep in mind most employers would rather not lose good employees because it is more expensive to hire and train new people, and that means the employer also wants you to have better job security. However, if the company does have to downsize, these extra efforts will result in additional skills. You will also have new relationships for references on your resume, and hopefully, a good referral from your boss to increase job security at your next job. It’s up to you to make yourself more valuable to any company and increase job security, especially when there are always more qualified people looking to take your place.In the end, you best can determine your fate at your job.