1) Just Show Up – An employer once told me the funniest excuse for an employee not coming in to work was “I have a problem with my eyes this morning. I just can’t see coming in to work today.” Funny as that may be, the employee didn’t think it was very funny when his job was cut. It may sound absurdly simple, but one of the best ways to keep your job once you have it is to just show up. Employers rarely tolerate absenteeism; chronic lateness; or vague, frequent illnesses. Not showing up for your job disrupts workflow and costs an employer real money. Those who don’t show up, usually don’t last very long. Sometimes the person who has been at the job the longest automatically climbs the career ladder when positions become available. Even if you don’t have the best education and skills, your loyalty and perseverance often translate into career advances. While this isn’t always to an employer’s advantage, many companies prefer to promote from within, thereby increasing employment longevity and morale.
2) Cross-Train – The second important technique you can use to keep your job is cross-training. Even during periods of layoffs and downsizing, most companies keep the employees who can do more than one job. If you can demonstrate the ability to do many jobs in an organization, regardless of your length of employment with the company, you are unlikely to receive a first-round pink slip. In this, the old rule “last one hired, first one fired” does not always apply. Some companies have formal cross-training programs in place while others do not. Regardless, you should always express an interest to your boss that you would like to learn more about other positions within a company. Most supervisors feel employees are more dedicated to their employer when they voice an interest in cross-training. This dedication helps you keep your job. It could also very well land you a promotion, further adding to your job security and tenure.
3) Lifelong Learning – The Value of Continuing Education There is no such thing as having too much education in my opinion. Knowledge is power, and although it may not always be utilized, it can never be taken away from you. Knowledge makes you valuable to your employer. A fundamental concept of successful organizations is that CEOs surround themselves with people more competent than they are. While this is intimidating to some, it works to the benefit and longevity of a company. Therefore, no matter what level of education you currently have, always consider yourself a lifelong learner and strive to become more knowledgeable than your coworkers and bosses. There are numerous ways to advance your current level of education. The huge increase in distance learning and online college courses has opened up postsecondary educational opportunities to nearly everyone. You can be working full-time and still further your education with night courses or distance learning programs. Weekend seminars often provide continuing education credit to participants. Community education programs routinely offer courses on money management, investing, and taxes, among other things. In addition, many organizations pay for all or part of continuing education after an initial period of work. If your employer supports continuing education, seriously consider taking the company up on it. It’s an excellent way to justify your bid for career advancement within a company. Ask your supervisor if this is available to you, or look in your employee handbook.
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