Jobs are disappearing, people are being laid off, employers are consolidating or going bankrupt, government based jobs are evolving, some industries are becoming dead ends other just starting and growing and the government seems about to go off a financial cliff; everything seems be out of control.
You can’t do much to control the overall situation but you can control what you do with your career and your work. Successfully controlling what you can will help give you a greater measure of employment security.
Your job performance and job skills are two important factors that you can control. Checking your job skills on a frequent basis will alert you on what skills you need to add and what skills require improving and updating.
Job performance goals need constant monitoring. Are you on track to reach your near and long-term job related goals? Are you achieving planned results? Are there challenges in your job that you can initiate action to produce bottom line results? Are you the go-to person when a knotty problem needs to be solved? Proper answers to these and similar questions will demonstrate you bring value to the job and your employer.
While you are controlling your job performance and building important job related skills others sit back and wait for things to come to them. When they are forced to find another job not only do they not have the required job skills but their basket of accomplishments is uninspiring.
Another area you can control is your business related network. Your network will keep you aware of what is happening in your career and in other careers in which you have an interest. You have control how you build your network. Adding connections in LinkedIn, researching other companies, active membership in relevant associations and keeping in contact with former co-workers and school mates are all things you can control.
When you need to find another job or change careers, job search skills are the keys to finding the right job in the right career. Job search skills, although not used often, can be learned and controlled. Writing a winning resume, building a personal marketing plan and interviewing skills are all things you can control.
While other job hunters may get parts of the job search process correct but they miss how to properly market themselves. This is especially true in job interviews when in answer to a question you have a short well structured story to tell. Your story relates the scope of the challenge, you assignment, what you did and obstacles overcome, and the punch line: the results achieved.
Financial planning is another area you can control. It goes hand in hand with your career planning. Living within your means and with a robust long-term financial plan gives you options that others wish they had. Financial resources provide you the option to reject a job that isn’t right for your career objectives.
Taking a job only because you don’t have adequate financial resources to select something better at a later time; rarely turns out to your benefit. A well thought out financial plan prevents you from making a job decision based on desperation.
Job security is a myth, and too many people spend their careers trying to capture this illusion. We see it happen every day where employers take away the job security of employees to pursue other objectives.
The correct and more productive road is to establish a high level of employment security. This is something you can control. And in these turbulent times something you can control is your island of calm.
John Groth has changed careers seven times during his working life. Learn more about changing careers and career planning at http://careersafter50.com. Discover how others over age 50, built winning career plans and found the right careers by career planning after 50.