7 Ways to Improve Job Security

Almost every person wants better job security. But that's a joke! Job security is practically non-existent in today's market.

You may work for an established Fortune 500 company with 20 years of superior performance. Then new management decides to sell your division and suddenly you are “redundant.” Or you may be a serial entrepreneur with a hot product (think video games, like Call of Duty or Black Ops 2). Your projects may be making beaucoup bucks for the company, but someone higher on the food chain may want to add features you think are stupid. You resist change. Your job may be eliminated quickly.

Here are tips to cope with lack of job security:

Stop resisting change
Fear plays a key role in resisting change. “That's how we have always done this” is a cliché for possible layoff. Innovation is the mother of the bottom line, the all important bottom line.

Drop a bad attitude Are you resisting the change because you cannot see the system is broken? If Henry Ford and others had not moved forward with ideas, we'd still be using real horses, instead of horse power. If Zuckerberg hadn't been feisty with a willingness to dare to be different, there would be no Facebook. Complaining constantly about “too many changes” often leads to the revolving door at work.

Tomorrow's Leader

Experts say video games are great  training for a changing employment world.

Experts say video games are great
training for a changing employment world.

SWOT your career Assessment tests abound, but some are expensive. Minimally you need a personal SWOT analysisto look at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once you determine if any threats are real, you can plan for action to adjust.

Understand the new trends Every company has its “culture.” Do you read the trends? If you read the recent article by Alantria Harris (see Major Sourcing Shifts Coming in Next 5 Years), you know that new sourcing technology continues to provide the competitive edge. Balanced geographic sourcing, reverse engineering, and emerging markets are all hot topics. Are you ready to implement the changes?

Improve the bottom line Instead of insidious, internal turmoil, develop a business case for saving money or time for your company. Move forward with suggestions while attending to the politics and the people.

Learn from retched experiences I'm convinced we learn more from bad experiences than good. For example, the control freak boss after graduation checked all your work and provided limited exposure. Now that you are mentoring many others, you realize that rigid review helped you grow in many ways.

Establish long-term goals The trends require immediate attention but you often see craziness in the decisions. Your survival depends on not just the short term, but looking realistically at where you want to be long term. Yelling and screaming about the stupidity of another change, is like playing a short video game. It provides a quick outlet, but little positive energy toward your future goals unless you gradually work towards becoming an expert. In a recent article in The New York Times, Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at New York University states that:

The way to be happy in life is to set a series of achievable goals. That's why video games are so attractive to human beings — because they're structured to offer incrementally more difficult goals.

The bottom line is to study the trends, avoid resistance to change, and create new accomplishments in your career. Security is elusive but survival is possible with a positive attitude and wise innovation. It's like playing a video game.

17 comments on “7 Ways to Improve Job Security

  1. Eldredge
    March 21, 2013

    @Ruth – Thank you for some excellent suggestions. Job security is not what it once was, but anything that can be done to increase one's value in terms of contribution to the company defintely helps, both in job retention, and in seeking the next opportunity.

  2. Ruth Glover
    March 21, 2013

    Getting involved in professional associations is important for visibility.  I know that's a favored word in supply chain.  You can't just attend a function, but need to join committees, help plan meetings, and volunteer to spread the word about opportunities within your industry.  Best of luck to you.

  3. _hm
    March 21, 2013

    Every organization has core values. Do understand and follow these core values. Also work extra, 150%. The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hardwork – Harry Golden.


  4. Ruth Glover
    March 21, 2013

    Good points, Harry!  Besides the hard work, understanding the people and politics to deal with them increases your chances for success.

  5. prabhakar_deosthali
    March 22, 2013


    To all the good points you have covered related to improving Job Security, I would like to add one more point and that is – Be visible.  All your positive actions and efforts must be visible to the people in your company who matter. Else someone else will take the credit and shove you out.

  6. HM
    March 22, 2013

    “Move forward with suggestions while attending to the politics and the people.”

    Whether we like or dislike this politics come in our way. Why cant people be just allowed to enjoy their work. Many people to enhance their job security start playing politics around and hurt the people who enjoy their work and have a passion for it. These so called politicians ruin the work enviornment and the only agenda on their minds is to improve their job security. Things get really tough when engineers have to deal with non techy minds like operational or HR.

    But overall the article outlines some nice ways to come up the corporate ladder and remain within the corporate culture.



  7. Ruth Glover
    March 22, 2013

    Yes, it would be fabulous if we could just do the job. Not everyone aspires to climb the corporate ladder.  However, to maintain our jobs, coping with the personalities sometimes creates huge challenges for us.  The realities in our personal lives can interfere with the expectations at work, which are sometimes unreasonable.  Sometimes the choices are very, very difficult to make, both at home and at work.


  8. Ruth Glover
    March 22, 2013

    Great comment!

  9. Mr. Roques
    March 22, 2013

    Thanks for the great tips. What can you do once you figure out your job will disappear (due to new technologies)?

    I also agree that being visible is a must!

  10. Himanshugupta
    March 24, 2013

    I think that stretch assignments in other departments and adding new skills is also key to Job security. Onone will say for sure whether his/her job will be relevant in coming years so learning new skills either by stetch assignments or by going back to school will make you indespensible or find a new job faster.

  11. Himanshugupta
    March 24, 2013

    One you figure out that your job will not exist after a time then looking for an upgrade in yourself is a must. For example most of the people were not capable of working with computers about 10-15 yrs ago but then companies recognized that most of the workforce need training. Change is force of nature and those who resist change ceast to exist.

  12. Ruth Glover
    March 24, 2013

    Going back to school, while working is difficult, but the rewards are many, including the opportunity to make new connections and friends.  Both of your comments resonate with your ability to see around the corner!

  13. Mr. Roques
    March 24, 2013

    Well, that requires people to be smart… at least smart enough to know something's wrong, and hopefully smart enough to know what to do.

    Which is exactly what companies want. Evolution happens everywhere. That way companies get computers to do simple tasks and people can focus on what computers can't do (YET!). But thats cyclical and to be frank, makes everything harder for workers.

  14. Himanshugupta
    March 25, 2013

    I agree that with family and everything leaving and going back to school to learn more tricks is difficult but taking sometime off and attend those courses which are advance and add to the existing profile is certainly doable. In most jobs, we apply knowledge of only a handful of the courses taught in university. So, finding the right areas to add on is very crucial.

  15. Ruth Glover
    March 25, 2013

    Very insightful comment!  Some companies will pay for related classes.  Be sure to check with management to see what they see visible in the future that might help your career.  

  16. Anand
    April 13, 2013

    @Ruth Glover, thanks for the post. I agree with you that we should “stop resisting change” but we should be always careful when we change our stream from one domain to another. Its better to get indepth experience in a single domain rather get little experience in many different domains. 

  17. Ruth Glover
    April 13, 2013

    Dear Supply Network Guru,

    Can you give me an example?  

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