These are tough times for anyone who depends on a job for financial security. The costs of our economic meltdown are not only in dollars. There is an emotional cost, too. You are not only feeling, anxious and insecure, but you’re are also feeling angry. It’s pissing you off that you’re having to put up with bad bosses and inhuman working conditions because you believe you have no options.
You wish you could do something different, but given today’s economic realities, what can you do to increase your career security and freedom?
Recognizing that you are not powerless is the first step to feeling better. You do have choices. You can create a better work life for yourself. There are four steps you can take right now to maximize the likelihood of steady, better money and control in your work future.
1. Perpetual Job Search Campaign
The days where you could depend on your job and the corporation you worked for are gone. You could be fired tomorrow. Your company could misplace 45 billion dollars and be out of business in a second. Current business practices do not include much loyalty for the employee. Sorry. Get over it. Staying where you are will get you nowhere.
You need to think of yourself like a politician. These days, politicians are in a perpetual campaign. The minute they get into office they are working on winning the next election. The minute you get a job, its time to start looking for the next job. Don’t get complacent. Don’t ever feel safe. You are not, yet. You will be safer if you are always trying to create a new opportunity for yourself. It may take you two years to find a new, better job. Better to start looking now than after you’ve been laid off.
2. Work the Politics
You may not be comfortable playing the game in your company. But if you’re not doing it, someone else will be. If you don’t like your boss, you better figure out a way to get his job, or step around him. Learn political skills. Form alliances. Use the levers of power. Think like the owners of your company. Impress people by doing an amazing job. Be impeccable. Get promoted when other people are getting fired.
3. Grow Skill
People have a fantasy that getting married means the work is finished. You think, I got him or her, and now I’ve graduated, and now I can sit on my ass and get fat. Think again. The work begins on the alter. The same thing goes with work. In order to succeed in today’s world you need to be a life-long learner. You need to constantly be going to school. You need to learn more, get better, get faster, have more skills in your toolbox. In this competitive marketplace where everything is changing every nano-second, the person who is comfortable learning will win.
The bad news is that job security is a thing of the past.
The good news is that anyone can start a business for no money. That’s called bootstrapping.
Business is about being able to distribute, market, and sell stuff. It used to cost a lot and be hard to start a business because it was hard to to distribute and market. Now anyone can have a web site in minutes where anyone in the world can find and buy what you are selling.
It’s easy to set up a business on the web, but let’s face it, it is hard to make money doing it. That doesn’t mean it is impossible. With energy, effort, time, and imagination, you can develop an income stream from your own home-based business. If you start now, while you still have a job, by the time you get canned you might have enough of a business to support yourself. And no one can fire you from that job.
Sure, all of this takes time and you already don’t have enough time. But the truth is, you’re going to have to make time if you want to get out of the trap you are in, and give yourself the financial freedom and security that you want, and deserve.