Now you have overcome your job search fears and applied for a position, you are likely concerned about your job security with the company.
Dave had just received a note that reads:
Dear Mr Dave,
I am sorry to inform you that your employment with us has been terminated immediately. This decision was necessitated by the recent economic conditions that have caused a significant downturn in sales.
Thus, an agreement was reached by the board to downsize the workforce by 20 per cent. Unfortunately, your position is part of this reduction and has been eliminated.
We wish you the best.
It was one of those gloomy days when the world showed its black side as Dave buried his head dejectedly in his desk. His fears have been confirmed. He has just been dumped into the exploding unemployment industry.
Truth is, there are many dejected Daves and Daves-to-be, with various responsibilities whose job security have been under constant threat by the recent bad turn of business and economic tides.
Like the rest of the world, Nigeria is still struggling with the economic impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, falling into a recession in the second and third quarters of 2020, amongst other factors. This poses a huge threat to the industrial workforce, consequently increasing the country’s unemployment scale.
As a measure to keep business activities going amid the bad economy, various companies have resorted to laying off employees, especially in extremely vulnerable sectors such as tourism, leisure, aviation, manufacturing, construction, and real estate, leaving employees with questions on how to keep their jobs.
Generally, human beings at the Safety and Security level of Abraham Maslow’s pyramid of Need seek job security as studies have proven that the more secure you feel in your job, the more focused, effective and productive you become.
Can you be guaranteed Job Security?
Although for some people, their employment contract may offer a reasonable level of job security in the position they hold, for a foreseeable future, regardless of what unfolds for the company. However, the Nigerian industrial environment is largely an insecure workspace for employees.
In any case, you can not be assured a lifelong job assurance in your workplace, but you can increase your job security such that you do not get laid off abruptly or become a victim of the company’s need to downsize or merge.
While it is true that sometimes you can not be faulted for being sacked from your position at work, as industry trends change rapidly and companies go out of business, the onus, however, lies on you to learn some useful tips in increasing your job security and apply them at work.
Here are 5 ways you can increase your job security in your workplace amid this economic downturn and beyond:
- Improve your skillset
As industries and technology change, certain skills become obsolete as new ways to perform tasks emerge. Hence there is a need to continuously evolve, learn, unlearn, relearn, and imbibe emerging work culture and skills that have become more pronounced in your industry.
Some of the ways to improve your skillset include; taking residence or online classes and certifications, seminars, boot camps, etc. that will help you reskill and upskill as industry trends demand.
You may also explore volunteering as a way to acquire new skills, and put those into use to help the company overcome business or organizational challenges. Improving your skills, and demonstrating a high level of expertise would make you more valuable to your company.
- Increase your productivity
Boosting your level of productivity is one way to increase your value in your company.
To stay productive, it is also important to set personal SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) goals to exceed your delivery expectation at work and track the progress you are making. Also, endeavour to minimize internal and external distractions as well as becoming a reliable, get-things-done employee who is exceptionally good.
- Be a Never-say-no team player
As an employee, a Never-say-no attitude to work can make you indispensable to your company and secure your job.
Aside from being willing to always assist, and cooperate with team members in completing a project, it is also important to volunteer for additional work and make sure you have the time to take on the extra responsibilities on top of your current ones. However, you need to be realistic and avoid promising what you can not deliver on.
- Keep Networking and Build Relationships
Building both work relationships and broadening your professional network is vital in securing your employment. One of the ways to building internal relationship aside from being a peaceful and cooperative staff is by utilizing your leadership skills and mentoring other co-workers, you can offer individual support and guidance to your colleagues.
Also, expand your personal and professional network via social media, Linkedln etc. and join a professional or recreational organization. By being a member of a club, or community chances are that you will meet people who share similar interest with you.
Building quality network and relationship with people will serve as a support system in a situation where you lose your job.
- Demonstrate Inventive Thinking
I predict that the silver lining of all of this is there will be a higher value on inventiveness and creative problem-solving—those people who can think differently about a challenge and who bring inventive solutions will be highly sought after – Claire Telling
Critical thinking and problem-solving skill are in-demand skills needed to thrive in the business world. Being a solution provider, a problem-solver, not a problem-maker is essential for you to remain valuable to your organization. You need to present creative ideas and innovation to help your company overcome difficulties or get work done.
According to Themuse, you should inculcate the following:
- Resilience: Bouncing back in tough times
- Adaptability: Adjusting to novel environments
- Flexibility: Being able and willing to wear different hats
- Thoughtfulness: Being respectful, intentional, and communicative with colleagues
As much as times are hard and job security is a topic of concern for employees in Nigeria, you only need to do what you have to do right and keep a positive mindset.