Believe it or not, the average worker has experienced about eleven job changes up to the age of 38; this according to the 2014 U.S. Department of Labor Statistics; the number currently still holding steady. Meaning, for whatever reason you no longer have a job – whether it was brought about by your personal decision to leave a job, a layoff, job shutdown, a merger or downsizing, typically you will work in eleven different positions before reaching age 40. Although this is a confirmed, statistical fact, why do people – perhaps even you – still find it difficult to accept the cold hard fact of a job loss when it happens?
Why does the feeling of loss overwhelm people when losing a job?
While there are a variety of reasons why a personal feeling of loss overwhelms people, first and foremost most believed the job was theirs to keep. They’ve settled themselves into a situation they became comfortable with – regardless whether it was the right job for them or challenging enough; whether they liked their co-workers or their boss or not.
Settling into a job means coming to know what’s expected of you, daily. Understanding company policies, it’s mission, how various departments work together, for example. And whether you actually like the job, or not, the combination of these, as well as being able to depend upon the constancy of the situation helps you head to work every day and make it through what could be an utterly boring day. Here’s an interesting article about what those who love their jobs have in common – “5 Things People Who Love Their Jobs Have in Common” –
The Myth of Job Security
During the years on a particular job, you may have believed you had job security. It’s what everyone wants; what’s caused some to stick with a job for decades simply to avoid the necessary changes which always come with loss of a job. Unfortunately, in today’s changed world there is no such thing as job security. Today you must have a plan, good attitude and the energy level necessary to move forward when, and if, your job disappears.
5 Ways to Start Today Future Proofing Your Work Life
1. Update your Resume, LinkedIn Profile and/or Portfolio.
While this may seem a no-brainer, it’s surprising how many workers don’t give these valuable assets a thought until forced to by lack of a job.
Your Resume, LinkedIn Profile and/or online Portfolio can work 24/7 passively marketing and representing you. Today, hiring pros would rather hire someone who has a job. They admit to regularly scanning profiles and resumes of those who aren’t looking for a job. Those, with a job, are likely up to date on regulations related to their job or industry, for example. They’re more than likely utilizing a variety of their top skills daily. Meaning these individuals could easily move into a new company, into a new situation with little down time.
That said, take time, today, to update these valuable items. Add in job responsibility changes; department changes; the number of individuals you manage; interactions with other departments for example.
Note: Over time a change can take place, which is so subtle as to be unnoticeable. Write it down, now, so it’s not forgotten. As well as any other changes which have taken place with your position over time. The more specific, your work responsibilities, the better these can help you when it comes time to job applying and interviewing. Make it a point to write down changes as they occur. Remember, these are part of your trove of assets which can – and will – sell you when, and if, job change time comes around.
2. Write down sharable statistics an HR pro or decision-maker will be impressed with during an interview; and which can help you receive the job offer. This could be anything from additional numbers of clients or employees you were charged with; sharable sales figures; losses you kept to a minimum; percentages like money saved; products created, for example. If you don’t make note of these, they can easily be forgotten yet could gain you an excellent job offer if presented to a hiring company or decision-maker when changing jobs.
3. Assess your Skills.
Unclear what your exact skills are? Take a pre-employment test. Many online are free. They generally test the top skills companies are looking for in new hires. And provide a score at the end of the testing. Here’s a variety of pre-employment testing groups –
Or hook up with an industry group you belong to and test with them if skills-testing/assessment, in your specialty area, are available. This information will help provide an even clearer view of what your skills are and skill level is; better preparing you for making job application and/or interviewing for a new job in your industry or a related industry should an issue occur with your current job.
4. Upgrade Your Skills.
If you plan to change industries, discover what skills – both hard and soft – are necessary to get a job when, and if, the time comes to make a change.
Drill down your hard skills and determine if taking some classes or working towards certification of a specific skill will help you move forward job-wise and financially.
Soft Skills are highly valued. You can build up yours by taking classes. There are companies, online, offering classes in a wide variety of Soft Skills development such as management, critical problem solving, verbal skills for example; you can receive certification for them as well.
5. Set up a financial plan.
If you can never leave a job because bills must be paid, it’s time to consider visiting a financial planner or go online and find information on how to develop a financial plan of your own. Discover what it takes to set yourself, and/or your family, in a position which allows you some freedom if the time arises when you decide to leave your current job or find yourself out of a job or on an unscheduled shutdown. In short, prepare yourself.
You may also want to consider a ‘Side Hustle’; work you can perform on a part time basis and/or weekends. Some Side Hustles can start out small and begin providing you a substantial amount of money to help you pay bills down and, in the process, create a nest egg and which can be relied upon during times of joblessness.
Submitted by: Jean L. Serio CEIC, CPC, CDI, CeMA
5 Minute Guide to Starting a Side Hustle
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