How to establish job security in a new career
A couple of generations ago it was normal to get a job at a large company and then settle down to a multi-decade tenure before retiring with a pension. If you go back even further in history, individuals didn’t just maintain the same job, they were literally born into it. Farmers, tanners, cobblers, no matter what your occupation, everyone was born into their career field and rarely moved out of it.
The tech-driven 21st century has completely rewritten this traditional sense of job security — so much so that nearly half of Australians have been at their current position for less than two years. The phenomenon isn’t unique to the Land Down Under, either. In the U.S. the median tenure at a job is just 4.1 years.
If you’re a grad getting ready to launch into your career, the truth is, you’re going to deal with instability at times. However, there are a few things you can do to keep things as stable and secure as possible over the decades of employment that lie ahead.
Build Your Network
Maintaining a personal network is a lot of work. However, it is an activity that is well worth the effort. After all, 40% of hires come from referrals. Taking the time to form professional relationships can provide you with a potential employment lifeline that will increase your job security beyond the scope of a single employer. Your network can consist of a variety of different individuals, including:
- individuals on social networks like LinkedIn.
As you work on degrees and certifications, remember to tend to your professional network as well. The future security that it can provide is too important to overlook.
Be Open With Potential Employers
One of the best ways to increase your job security is by being open and honest. Don’t be afraid to talk to potential employers about longevity and average tenure.
Use the “do you have any questions for us?” part of your interviews to inquire how long employees tend to stay at the company you’re applying to. Take the opportunity to express your own interest in finding a company that you can commit to, as well.
Set Personal Goals
With employment transitions all but a certainty in the modern career path, it’s wise to set your own personal goals to help you stay focused. Creating long-term objectives that you want to reach over the course of your career can help you establish SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals to help you make big career decisions in the here and now.
Having your own goals in place can serve as a lighthouse to steer toward at all times. This is true regardless of whether you’re safely tucked away with an employer you love or you’re going through a turbulent transition between jobs.
Embrace a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset consists of the ability to take risks, try new things, and stretch yourself. It revolves around the concept that you can always learn, grow, and generally think bigger.
By maintaining a growth mindset throughout your career, you enable yourself to stay productive and on the cutting-edge of your industry or field. The forward-thinking nature of a growth mindset pushes you to:
- always be developing both existing and new skills
- take continuing education courses that expose you to new business concepts and ideas
- engage in on-the-job training with excitement and passion
- stay up to date with the latest trends in your industry.
In other words, a growth mindset encourages you to take advantage of opportunities to learn new things. This, in turn, deepens your professional abilities, talents, and skills and naturally makes you more desirable to employers, who will be more inclined to make an effort to both hire and retain you.
Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
Finally, if you truly want to establish your own security, consider taking your entire career into your own hands. Rather than resting on the whims of a manager or the fortunes of an employer, consider starting your own business. You can typically do this in two different ways.
- Try using hybrid entrepreneurship to develop your own side gig while still maintaining a steady income from your current salaried employment. Once your hustle is well-established, you can turn it into your own business.
- Become a freelancer in order to spread your income “eggs” into different baskets. This allows you to weather the loss of a single client without losing all of your income at once.
As you try to establish yourself, remember that entrepreneurial life isn’t easy. In fact, it’s full of challenges, from establishing your own brand and hiring the right employees to overcoming risk and fear of failure.
Nevertheless, while there may be a lot of work and a certain financial instability that comes with being a business owner, the payout that comes with success can be greater than that found in a traditional career. Importantly, this includes the fact that it provides you with a sense of security as you remain firmly at the wheel throughout your professional career.
Finding Security in an Insecure World
The 21st-century business landscape is insecure. There’s no way around it. Disruption takes place every day, whether it’s in the positive form of a new technology, the negative form of a global pandemic, or anything in between.
Nevertheless, it’s possible to find a personal sense of professional security, even amidst all of the change and uncertainty. If you can set your own goals, stay open and honest with employers, build your network, and maintain a growth mindset, you can ultimately build a secure career path for yourself, no matter what the future may hold.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. You can follow her work at charliefletcher.contently.com