5 simple steps to attaining job security
Employee Commitment

5 simple steps to attaining job security
How to make yourself indispensable

A change of plans...

You invest a lot of time and energy in your job, and may have even considered your future prospects in a company when a change in the company's circumstances or a dip in the economy might leave you jobless. Unfortunately, this has been the case for millions across the globe since the emergence of COVID-19; in an instant, major layoffs, pay cuts and businesses shut down.

Even under normal circumstances, job security can be a significant source of stress. In today's global economy, with an excess of cheap labour and advancing technologies, job security is approaching mythical status. It costs the company too. Replacing an employee can cost anywhere between 30-200% of that employee's salary due to productivity losses and recruiting/training new hires__¹__. So both you and your employer benefit by keeping you around, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will.

Luckily there are strategies you can use to improve your chances of keeping your current job and maximising value while you're at it.

Improving your job security

  1. Openly communicate with your manager – frequent and direct conversations with your manager can help manage expectations, clarify confusion, and prevent smaller mishaps building into bigger career-ending mistakes. It also keeps you on their radar.
  2. Keep learning – The landscape is changing. New software, technology, scientific breakthroughs are an everyday occurrence. You have to keep up. Take courses, read blogs, learn from colleagues and leave no stone unturned. A “life-long learning mindset” is a recipe for being indispensable. And even if the axe falls and you do lose your job, you’re a more attractive prospect to others, with a higher likelihood of a quick turnaround into a job, possibly with better pay and conditions!
  3. Help others – in a culture of collaboration, limiting yourself to your tasks is not enough. If you have the knowledge or the skills to help out a team member, DO IT! Even if you don't, still offer to help. They will appreciate you for it, it will grow your network, and your manager will notice you.
  4. Honour commitments – an employee that clocks out at 5 pm with incomplete tasks is more likely to be at the front of the line when retrenchments are happening. Be sure to communicate manageable deadlines to your manager and make sure you stick to them. Delivering early is always a good thing, but late submissions are never okay.
  5. Show your value – when it’s crunch time, you may have to step up and put in the hard yards. This may mean some longer hours, volunteering to help those who are struggling and double-checking submissions. This will put you in the spotlight as someone dependable in the hour of need.

Job security

Sometimes you can be doing everything right, and it still might not be enough. Circumstances may change, economies may shift, and companies may get reorganised. For worst-case scenarios like these, it's best to be prepared. Updating your CV regularly, staying connected and sharing relevant material on LinkedIn, and arranging your finances such that you can weather the financial storm if needed are all sound strategies to futureproof your career.

In an ever-changing global environment, job security can be hard to obtain, but not impossible. Kenneth Blanchard said it best, "the only job security you have today is your commitment to personal improvement!"

__¹__Boushey, Heather, et al. 2012. Americanprogress.Org.

Employee Commitment