02 June 2014
Author: The ExecuSearch Group
It’s human nature to sometimes be forgetful. However, when it comes to one’s job security, forgetting about major events—such as the great recession—can be risky. While the financial crisis that saw unemployment rates skyrocket to 10% was only a mere few years ago, many have the tendency to become complacent in their job security. Though the recent promising trends in jobless rates and new job postings are definitely positive, be cautious and don’t let your confidence harm your career in the long run. While the economy is recovering, you never know when it could potentially take another downward turn. Never take for granted the possibility of an unexpected layoff or pay cut—in fact, you should always prepare for the worst. To make sure you never get too lax about your career, routinely follow the following five steps: Always have a professional network. Never get complacent with your networking or get into the habit of only reaching out to your contacts when you need them. It’s important to keep a network of mutually beneficial professional relationships at all times, as you never know when you may need help. Networking and staying in touch is simple to do today – simply create a LinkedIn profile, pick up the phone, or shoot over an email to a contact you have. Make sure to communicate with each of your contacts on a regular basis so as to make sure the relationship doesn’t go stale. Keep your skills portfolio updated. Specifically, be sure to keep your technical skills current, as many jobs now require at least some kind of technical proficiency. You can also take classes, seminars, webinars, and continuing education classes to brush up on your skills and develop new, relevant ones as well. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should get an entirely new degree, such as an MBA, if you don’t feel it’s the right next step for you—just keep yourself in a habit of always learning. Doing so will ensure you are always on par with the skills required in your career, show that you’re proactive enough to constantly be learning more, and give you something new and conversation-worthy to put on your resume. Save for a rainy day. Since you never know what the future of the economy holds, always be financially prepared to begin the job search anew. Contribute to a 401k, put money away in the bank, and spend and invest wisely. Having some support to fall back on in any unforeseen events can help you quickly get back on track and focus on your career with the clarity it needs rather than cloud your judgment with panic. Build a relationship with a recruiter. Though you may not be job searching at the moment, adding a recruiter to your network is always a smart move. Find someone you can trust who understands you aren’t looking to find a job today, but who can become a trusted adviser to you and whom you can work with in the future. Should you ever need to make a career change or find yourself out of a job, having a recruiter in your network who is already acquainted with your work history and skills can greatly expedite the process. Join associations. Pick one or two within your profession and stay active. Doing so gives you an excellent resume addition, a way to meet fellow professionals in your field, and a forum of colleagues to sound off ideas with and turn to for help if you should ever need it. This also gives you access to the hidden job market, as many companies within your field may have openings they don’t advertise but which can be found through your associations.