Your job is not safe.
You could walk into the office Monday morning and learn that:
The company has been sold
Your position has been eliminated
Automation has taken your place
You have a new boss. And the two of you don’t get along… not one bit
And just like that, you’ll be out the door and looking for a new job.
I’ve coached many people who use “safety is important to me” as a reason not to look for a new job, find more fulfilling work, or start a business. They confuse familiar with safe.
A job is not financial security.
Jobs are not safe.
Consider this analogy: In your relationship with your company, you are the mistress. You are never the wife.
Your boss will keep you around as long you are serving the needs of the company and the team (keep you on the payroll). Executives will tell you what you want to hear (during your reviews, town halls, 1:1’s). Leaders will tell you not to worry, and that every thing is fine (addressing rumors).
And when they are done with you, you’ll be gone.
Sounds about right.
It’s not your boss’s job to keep you safe. Your company doesn’t owe you anything outside of a check for the hours you worked last week.
Sound scary? Mean? Unfair? It’s not.
You can (and should) create your own safety!!
Imagine how wonderful it would be to feel calm and confident when you:
Hear a rumor of layoffs
Learn that your company is facing financial difficulty
Read a press report and learn that the corporation has sold your division
Participate in a project that will result in needing less people to do the work
These actions will have you well on your way to feeling safe when others are scrambling:
Hone Skills that are in High Demand – Keep your skills current. Read at least 5 books a year on your field. Take online courses and webinars. Attend related conferences.
Network with Professionals in Your Field – Reach out to people doing what you do outside of your company. Arrange coffee chats. Go to networking events. Find ways to be helpful to them.
Focus on Value – Every. Single. Day. Solve problems. Help others be successful.
Find a Way to Say Yes – There is ALWAYS a way to “yes”. Find it. Even when the “yes” isn’t exactly what the person was asking for.
Make Stuff Happen – Find solutions. Break big problems into smaller problems, and then solve them. Take action. And (you knew this one was coming)… never bring your boss a problem without a suggestion on how to solve it.
Bring Your Enthusiasm to Work – Be approachable. Be kind. Show your passion. Ask how you can help when a colleague is struggling.