7 Surefire Ways to Maximize Job Security

The first time I lost a job, I was writing for a ball bearing magazine. Yeah, a magazine about ball bearings. It turns out people in the ball bearing scene have no sense of humour. They don’t appreciate jokes comparing the objects of their obsession and certain male parts. It was a learning experience (getting fired, not writing about balls). Since then, I’ve built a list of ways to maximize my job security:

 

Office worker downing a soda

Not pictured: Aspirin, lack of sleep, and stomach ulcers. Welcome to the new economy.

 

There are seven main sources of job security. In no particular order, these are:

  • Not messing around on the net
  • Being nosy
  • Knowing when to be loud
  • Not Whining About Job Description
  • Understanding your corporate culture
  • Being honest
  • Being a SME

With the current economic crises, job prospects are looking bleaker than a North Korean coal mine. But live by this list and you’ll be more of a fixture than the conference room furniture.

 

Old office worker. With an orange hat!

“Son, I was working here before there was democracy. I can wear whatever hat I want.”

 

1. Not Messing Around on the Net

Don’t mess around on any company workstation. Most companies, especially large corporations, do keep track of your activities and e-mails. Even if they’re not diligent about it, they will be when they need to do a review, or when something goes wrong.

While some companies don’t mind the occasional look at Reddit or MoneySmart, don’t spend more than 10 minutes there. And most websites are now polite enough to attach “not safe for work” (NSFW) tags to images and videos. How about you don’t open them? Or at least use your tablet.

 

Guy laughing and pointing at laptop screen

“Did you guys see this hilarious Youtube video of a guy getting fired for watching Youtube videos?”

 

2. Being Nosy

Make it a point to learn what your colleagues are up to. This is invaluable when in meetings. For example, if you drop a line like this:

“I think we should prioritize project Mickey Mouse first, because I know Helen is busy with project AutoHang.”

It sends a message that you’re alert and a team player. And if you have the time, do ask your colleagues if you can help with anything. This is an opportunity for you to learn a bit about their job. It sets the stage for you to slowly take over projects. And while it may mean more work, more work means more security.

 

Grinning man in front of screen

Once the insane giggling starts, you’ll stop noticing the extra workload.

 

3. Knowing When to be Loud

Saw something in a magazine that can help your business? Have a great idea? Accomplished something significant?

Well open your mouth and say it. You want to show that you’re a valuable part of the team, not some pointless drone that needs your buttons pushed. And while you shouldn’t brag, you can make a polite mention of your achievements. For example:

“I’m really glad I finished Project AutoHang this week, that’ll give us time to work out the bugs.”

Sometimes, bosses lose track of who’s doing what.

 

Guy with loud hailer in a crowd

“Will someone please tell the loud hailer guy he doesn’t need to give his status report while on strike?”

 

4. Not Whining About Job Description

If you get told to do something “not in your job description”, think before complaining.

You could say it’s not what you were hired for, and maybe you’ll get away with not doing it. It’s easy to draw that line. But just remember: when the opportunity comes for overseas training, a pay raise, or a promotion, you’ll be remembered as the un-cooperative one. A single “no” can be remembered for years.

And when retrenchment time comes around, you may as well tattoo a bullseye on your forehead.

 

5. Understanding Your Corporate Culture

In MoneySmart, I can crack jokes about ball bearings (see first paragraph), whereas in that other company I was all but fired for it.

Or so I hope. If my name no longer appears from today, then I’ve misunderstood the corporate culture.

 

Dressed as bandit and offering drinks

“Sure he’s nice. I just don’t think John fits this police department’s culture, that’s all.”

 

If you work for a company that has a strict dress code, then the most risqué joke you make had better be ordering white wine with your steak at company dinners. But if you work in a more relaxed environment, there’s no need to strut around like an English aristocrat who’s just had an enema. Whatever your school counsellor may have told you, individualism is not always appropriate. Learn to adapt.

When it’s time to downsize, remember that “she just doesn’t fit in” is a perfectly valid reason.

 

6. Be Honest

Missing deadlines or going over budget is bad for your job security. But you know what’s worse?

Trying to lie about it.

If your boss is already an alarming shade of purple, the last thing you want is to make her even angrier. Just admit when you’ve made a mistake, and propose your solution. Mention your reasons (the real reasons), and never fabricate an excuse.

And if you have an MC, you’d better not bump into your boss while having dinner at the mall. Especially watch what you post on Facebook that day.

 

Soldier aiming rifle, with instructor next to him

“For the last time private, it is NOT a case of the target dummy being un-cooperative.”

 

7. Being a SME

A subject matter expert (SME) is always the ideal position to be in. Whether you’re looking for a job, or your job provides such an opportunity, fight for it.

A SME is often the sole person qualified to do something. Without a graphic artist, for example, most websites would look like someone was using Microsoft Paint after a five bar binge. But the guy who screws nuts onto bolts at the assembly line? Well his job may not be easier, but there’s a whole line of people who can replace him.

Bosses are loathe to pull the trigger on SMEs, because their loss can stall a project for months. In order to be one, engage in continual development. Keep learning new things, and invest money in your own education.

 

Guy with bottle balanced on his head

“He’s our digital artist. Until you can draw more than stick men, he could do that naked on your desk and we STILL can’t fire him.”

 

Keep to these 7 guidelines, and the fear of being fired will be a thing of the past. And even if the company folds, you’ll quickly become indispensable in your next job.

 

Image Credits:

stars512NCDOT Communicationsmikecoghemilio labradorjoncandyMatt From LondonUS Army Africaistolethetvseekingthomas

Are you worried about job security? Comment and let us know!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.



More From MoneySmart
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …

  • Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2
    Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2

    How well does this P3,999 offering from an underdog in the local mobile industry stack up against the competition? Let's find out. …

  • US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea
    US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea

    The United States has deployed its newest and most advanced surveillance aircraft for patrols over the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon aircraft completed more than 180 flight hours from Feb. 1 to 21 from Clark Air Base, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. …

  • No coercion, force in sea row – France
    No coercion, force in sea row – France

    France renewed its call for a peaceful resolution of the West Philippine Sea dispute during a meeting between its leader President Francois Hollande and President Aquino at Malacañang. “We reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asia and promoting maritime security, freedom of navigation and the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” Aquino said in a statement …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options