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Career Services - Students

Job Security?

Job Security – Does It Really Exist?
Does job security really exist or is it a figment of our hopeful imagination? Are there really safe careers out there in the employment world today? Is there a way to safeguard your job from the recession?

These are questions constantly presented to me by my clients over the years especially in times of economic stress.  There is no denying that job restructuring, lay-offs, downsizing, furloughs, hiring freezes and reduced compensation and benefits can occur in certain sectors even when there is not a recession - a daunting reality. So searching for job security is a valid exercise. I still receive repeated requests from clients for assistance in obtaining “job security”.

Recent studies completed by KPMG (a global network of firms providing audit, tax and advisory services) indicate that, as a result of the economic downturn, recent graduates rate job security as a top priority for a potential employer ahead of pay and benefits.  However, what drives organizations today is the bottom line and not the needs of the employees. The days of the gold watch after 30 years of employment, guaranteed pensions and unquestioned loyalty to the employee are a thing of the past. Job security must be viewed with a completely different mind set.

So how do we create our own internal job security that will weather even the toughest economic downturn? We need to stop looking to employers and organizations as the source of job security. Instead, we need to look at ourselves, our actions and our choices. There is no employer who actually cares about keeping you employed to the same degree that you do, so why would you leave it up to them to give you security?

Treat your job as “Self Employment” for a secure career by implementing the following tips:
1. Change Your Expectations. Expect that economic reversals will occur; accept that changing jobs is a given; believe
that a variety of experiences does create a more marketable you. Trust in the value of trying different career roles. This
may take a major mind shift. But, know that beliefs are the underlying catalyst for behavior. Begin to think differently.
2. Create an Updated Resume. Most people rush to create or update a resume when a job hunt becomes necessary,
easily forgetting many important skill building experiences. Keep a journal of all your accomplishments, make note of any
changes to your current job description. Don’t forget to include all professional volunteer experiences and renew your
3. Constantly Engage in Professional Development. This may be the singular most important activity you can do. Stay
current in your field by learning new technologies as they are always changing - take any seminars or workshops offered
at the workplace or exchange tutoring with friends. Build new skill sets every day. Seek out rotational assignments to
enhance your skills. In most cases, individuals with the exceptional skills win out!
4. Network, Network, Network. Network as if you were currently job hunting. Carefully choose and participate
in formal associations and networks. Keep contact with former bosses and colleagues, present co-workers and
classmates. Regularly communicate and have coffee or lunch with old and new acquaintances to keep information
flowing in your direction. Reciprocate with articles of interests, introductions to new contacts and an attitude of willingness
to help others.
5. Consider a Non-Traditional Source of Employment to Enhance Your Resume. Taking into account the fact of
globalization, consider an employment stint abroad - it adds real credibility and breadth to your skill set and makes you
more marketable. Think about volunteering in a capacity that expands or highlights your talents and interests.
6. Reflect on the Long Haul. Continuously explore your many options that constitute your career path in life - and there
are many options. Spontaneously participate in activities to determine if you enjoy and do well in new arenas. Engage
senior and executive employees in conversations about career paths and all the necessary steps to get you where you
want to be.
7. Think Like a Freelancer. Think like an entrepreneur, someone who is self-employed, because in the end, you really
are the one who is most concerned about your own employment and career path.

Nov 2010-Prepared by Patricia Crew of Comprehensive Career Counseling. Reach her at (

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