If I remember anything from graduate school – way back in the day – it was this concept of career security.
So, I thought I would check out what would come up when I googled those words. Lo and behold, the words “job security” popped up. . . “Job security is when your job is secure and there is no chance of you ever losing your job.”
Hmmm. Today, not one person is “feeling” this. Everyone, and I mean everyone . . . is working on how to maintain career security which means working on how to stay employed more than 18 months. Why? Because according to Peter Weddles, one of the foremost authors on career development, technology is advancing at such an astronomical rate that everyone has to keep on finding ways to keep their skills up. This also means developing multiple skill sets. Skills sets that will support you in the position you are in, and that you can fall back on them if plan A does not work out.
I remember my Mom and Dad always talking about having a plan B in case some wild and crazy X factor was thrown into my life. I really couldn’t get that concept back in the late 70’s but know exactly what they meant years later. But, that’s life. With all the possible twists and turns of life, how can we possibly predict what will happen?
Well, you know we can’t. But, since we recognize that no one is going to bail us out, then we really need to become CEO’s of our careers and accept the long hard fact that it is up to us to manage our careers. Job security and career management are our responsibility, as it always has been for many of us. But, more than ever, we really need to work smart and manage even more closely.
In ensuring more security for yourself, you will have to do your due diligence. What that means is in making next your next move, be sure to talk to as many people as possible (information interview), research your grad school options (if that is one of your options-ask about their placement rate once you graduate), look up the Bureau of Labor Statistics (identify the market trends and what is NOT moving forward over the next ten years), check in with your university career center (they are there to serve you long after you are gone, but no one thinks to check in for the alumni services) and, most of all, be sure to really look at the market conditions. Every state is trending differently as well as every region in the country.
Be realistic. Think smart. Research. Read. Talk to people you respect. Network. Build those relationships. Go to networking events and work it. Take time to touch base with all of your friends. You never know who knows who. The good news is that we have a blank canvas in front of us. With that, we can create a masterpiece for ourselves that incorporates our dreams with aligning our career values. With ingenuity and your due diligence, you can win in this competitive job market. People are doing it everyday.