By Umer Raza Bhutta
“I want to work for a company that gives opportunities for growth and offers a secure job”. Later the candidate explained why he is thinking that way. Besides this he also satisfied with lots of other questions asked. A SECURE JOB……. He was asked what he meant by a SECURE JOB. In answer to this he said “I want a permanent position and not a contract of one or two years, and want that company has a secure business and a good growth pattern, that is what I meant by a job security.”
This is not a surprise as most of us ask such questions and these are quite genuine. One must not be afraid of asking such questions and also look for a suitable answer to these. However, what is surprising is that we keep focusing on such things which we do not control and for that matter neither does the company. Interestingly these questions make the bottom line of our decisions to join or not to join a company and further to remain in a company. We tend to leave the companies also based on the answers to such questions. This sometimes becomes our foresight whereby we make decisions and believe that since our job is no longer secure at this place hence we must move to another place. This foresight includes the fear of boss’s attitude (likes and dislikes of the boss), the fear that my job may get redundant, fear that the skills that I have may not be required by the company anymore, fear that someone else may take my place, fear that my job is a contract position and not a permanent one which can end anytime, fear of closer of the company in the near future etc. These fears create our jobs insecure. On most of these fears we do not have much control over. The things we are not controlling do not deserve to be focused upon either. So let us focus on things that we control and ensure the security of our job.
Following are few of the ideas and tips that will help you move forward towards ensuring the Job Security. The ideas to follow are simple, straight forward and must make a part of our every daily professional life.
Do the Basics Right: Lessons taught to us in the child hood are the basics we need to focus upon. These lessons are easily forgotten in practical life. Observing the dress code, personal hygiene, punctuality, respect for others etc. creates a difference. Remember these are the biggest communication tools you have with you. You may not speak many words to communicate but the way you dress, walk in the office and present yourself carries weight and creates your professional standing. You may not be told about this too often but people around you (in your bosses, peers and subordinate groups) observe, discuss and sometimes make reasons for your up word or down word movement in the organization.
Give Ideas for growth and development: We generally have a tendency of feeling down when one of our idea is not accepted. We stop sharing later when this happens two or three times. We also argue that since I do not have any authority my ideas are not accepted so there is no point in sharing my ideas. Remember it is the management’s right and prerogative to accept or reject the idea at the same time it is your right to give the idea. Let the management perform its role and you do yours. Keep on giving the ideas, no matter it is accepted or not. Share your ideas in meetings, in one to one sessions and whenever possible. Remember everything is recorded somewhere in the organization.
Develop yourself: This is the best part of your authority over your Job and thus securing it. No short cuts, just develop yourself. Attempt to change yourself daily towards an improved yourself. If you are not adding value to yourself, you are not adding value towards your company and your company may not need you in the future. Thus your job may become unsecure.
Improve the use of the technology in your work: The work you do must have a greater component and understanding of technology. If you are not following technological changes and not using them to their potential you will be out of touch from your job and may become untouchable. Others will overtake you and give another silent reason to your company to lay you off when required.
Do not just focus on your JD: Focusing only on the written document called Job Description is another very logical mistake our people make. It is logical because when people think this way they are right. When they are right they are hardly been convinced to think otherwise. I have seen people who do their job perfectly fine following the concept “Just what the doctor ordered”. Doing so will make you as good as your Job Description, but not as good as what your company wants you to be for its future. When there will be a talk of moving you ahead in your career or laying off the staff, those who are doing “just what the doctor ordered” may become the first victims.
Do not speak unnecessarily: Either we do not speak or when we are allowed in an open environment to speak we do so without taking care of the consequences. We want to be known as a person “who says that all”. We want to be the bravest and the leader of the group. Remember you are not in a parliament you are not doing your job to earn votes. You must hold your tongue and let it open only when it is important and required. Understand the mood of the company and the people around you. Measure your words positively and speak when you know about the subject. (unless it is a brain storming session where you have to throw ideas and you are asked to share your opinion in an open and friendly environment).
Know your internal customer: Your internal customer must feel good while working with you. Your best internal customer for all intent and purposes is your immediate supervisor. You must not be a YES man, but you must understand the professional needs of your supervisor. You must be able to respond to your boss’s fair and professional calls of duty. Your boss must look good in front of his/her peers and his/her bosses. If your boss does not feel you are trustworthy, you are jeopardizing your own and your boss’s future. Nobody will like to be down casted because of someone else. So become an asset for your boss and not the liability. You can always become a liability if you are not helping your boss to grow and move forward to the next place. Talk to your boss occasionally and seek feedback as to how you can serve your boss better and what are his/her expectations from you. After all how good a son you are only your parents can tell.
Know that you have the authority and use it properly; Whatever is on your table or your desktop is your own choice hence it is known that you are CEO of your own space. If you are sitting at the reception you have the authority to take calls, forward them, welcome the guests in the company and organize your sitting area accordingly. It is your choice and entirely your choice as to how best you do all these. You may turn a good prospect for the company regretting his decision to enter into your company or making a bursting customer become a friend to the company. Same is the case for any other position in the company. Know your authority and become a CEO not just a 9 to 5 staffer. Remember by doing so you are just securing your job.
Reimbursements from the company – There is staff in the company, I have seen, that bring 5 rupee tool tax slips to your table and claim a reimbursement. Logical though and must be reimbursed (if it is during any official trip), but such act shows how much you are with the company. This may sound a little absurd but remember never to claim menial amounts from the company. After all how much time do you spend in your 8 hours contract of daily work with the company in actual productive work. Hence let such things go and see the intangible return coming your way.
Do not demand much from the company: I have seen people who actually complain, stop doing any work and blame the company (HR and Administration department) for not supplying them with appropriate office facilities and thus they could not complete their task. It shows your negative approach towards your work and company, portraying you as a greedy person that is more focused towards baggage then towards a long distance flight. Demand less from the company, if you are performing well and have shown results to the company, everything will come your way. Once you demand and condition your work with demands (not in words but through your actions), you make your job insecure.
Love thy company until you are there. If you do not like the company just leave it. Believe me just leave it, go somewhere else. Do not bad mouth the same company that runs your household. Do not work there just because you have to. Work there because you want to. If you work in a company because you have to it will become your “Majbori” and every action you take in that company will be out of FEAR. Thus weakening you every day and making you more and more vulnerable to any threat of job loss. So feel good about your job and company. This is the best place to work for any one. Had it not been the best place to work, how come a best person like yourself be employed here.
All of the above is under your control and the list of these items is not over yet. There may be many more such things that you can do to increase your job security. It is entirely in your hands to secure your job. No one can guarantee you a job security. It is only you who is responsible for making your job secure and feeling good about it.