Our time is no longer for long-term employments, and the people you know that have had only one or perhaps two jobs in their career are presumably 50 years of age or more. They have entered the job market in a time where you were loyal to the company, and where hard work and honoring your duty created a safe career and a maybe even a beneficial pension. They have been at the same place for 20, 30 or maybe 40 years and have never looked around for other or better opportunities. Another thing they have never had is the job uncertainty and fear of termination in the same degree as many experience today.
Today the world is different, and as a result from globalization, outsourcing, economic downturn and cutbacks the same kind of job security is merely history. Those who have entered the job market within the past five years will probably have more than 10 different jobs during their active career. At some point everyone will probably meet the lack of job security that follows from this development. And when insecurity is a condition you are working under, then it is important that you learn how to live with it and still enjoy your work.
In this theme we focus on how you are able to learn how to gain control of the insecurity of the job, so that you can enjoy your work and avoid stress caused by concerns. If you are managing a company with exposed coworkers, you can teach them to use the methods, so that they find calmness in the insecurity.
The first step is to learn how to handle the mental pressure and the stress that job insecurity can produce. Not everyone reacts the same to insecurity, and therefor there is no conclusive solution on how to tackle it. There are many different factors that affect for instance your economic situation – maybe you and your family depend on your income and therefor you are extra sensitive to the job insecurity. Your ability and willingness to be ready for change also play a part in whether you are able to adapt to restructurings in the company – maybe you receive new or less assignments, other coworkers or get transferred to another department. So in order to encounter the insecurity you need to be ready for change and able to see the joy of change.
Also learn how to handle the stress that insecurity produces. It can be more stressful to worry about losing your job than actually losing it. So let go of your worrying and enjoy that you have a job and perhaps even one that you are really care about. Positive thoughts kill negative ones, but it requires an effort.
The next step is to be prepared. You cannot predict what will happen in the future, but if you are prepared for the changes that lies within job insecurity, you can reduce your worrying as long as you have done everything you could.
Look at the possibilities from changing jobs rather than the limitations.
When worrying gets too much, it is useful to remember that when one door closes, another one opens.
When you focus and are good at articulating your competences and the things that makes you a good coworker, you will stand strong when meeting a new employer. That is why it is important that you constantly make sure that you are up-to-date with your abilities. Especially technical competences develop fast, and it is important to be know the latest updates and systems. But if you are no longer able to sell yourself based on your technical abilities, it is just as important that you develop your nontechnical competences and find out what you are also good at. Look through your résumé and find a new focus from the assignments you have previously solved.
Stress can make you feel that you are losing control. Remember that you are the one who is in control of your life. This can help minimize the insecurity. You can also take control yourself by looking at the opportunities there may be for you internally in the organization. Get to know other departments, because maybe your competences could be useful other places within the organization. A proactive behavior helps reduce stress.
If you are part of a team or managing a team of coworkers who are struck by insecurity, it is a good idea to let them talk about it. Say it like it is – why are you concerned, and how does it affect you. An open talk about it can be comforting, and the worries will seem a bit smaller when they are shared out loud. But always remember that the worries must never set the agenda for the group. You need to find a balance and you can use your concerns to find new ways forward together.
If you hold an insecure job, you must ensure that you keep adding value to the company. Be open and positive instead of complaining. You must make an extra effort, if you want to keep your job. Show that you love your job through extra energy, involvement and helpfulness. Show that you are heavily invested in your assignments, the products you are selling or your colleagues. This involvement helps you separate from the crowd.
You can also show involvement by constantly being updated regarding trends in the industry and the company’s development. Keep yourself updated on the newest initiatives, courses and educational opportunities within your field or industry. This way you will demonstrate an interest in the company in a good way that may help strengthen the growth.
Also think about courses or educations that might strengthen you in any job. This could for instance be efficiency methods, management techniques, administration, project management etc.
Many people do not like to talk about themselves – not even praise themselves or “brag” about the things they have achieved or that they are capable of. But if you turn it around and imagine that your boss does not know how good you really are or how much experience you have within an area, he/she is only able to find out if you share it.
That is why it is also important to keep your résumé up-to-date at all time, so that you are able to share it within your network or when the occasion is suddenly right. A well-formulated résumé is important, and when you are continuingly working on it, you will also avoid having to make it in the last minute and thereby accidently make mistakes.
All things considered it is about taking control of the situation and being prepared. When you have done everything you could in order to engage insecurity and prepare for a potential firing, you can find the calm within it and avoid stress and negative thoughts. Look at the changes with joy and do not be afraid of trying something new.