According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy and The Common Wealth Fund, over 49 million people filed for unemployment so far during Covid-19, and only 18 million are expected to be temporarily unemployed. Being a recent graduate fresh in the ‘real world’ during the time of a global pandemic, job security was something I had anxiety about. Although job losses are sometimes inevitable, what are ways that can offer more job security? What could make you the person someone would want to let go of last, or hire back first? What characteristics? Here are some ideas…
1. Be Adaptable. The world is ever changing and people who choose to be dead set in their ways, sometimes get left behind because of lack of flexibility. Here at DWM we always say we ‘wear a lot of hats,’ meaning each member can help each other with various tasks and still excel in our individual specialties. You have to be prepared to go with the flow and not shy away from something new.
2. Realize that you are a lifelong learner. When I graduated from college last year I told my Dad I was sad to leave because I loved learning. His response was that I was only getting started in all I would learn in life. Continuing education, as in Masters and Doctorate Programs, are very respectable and necessary in some situations. But growing your mind and skill set can happen every day with the right attitude. It goes hand in hand with being adaptive like our first point, be open to being a lifelong learner.
3. Show your employer you care about things other than work. What people do with their extracurricular time can speak louder than you think. Classic job interview questions are “what do you do for fun?” and “what is the first thing you want to do when you get off work for a weekend?” Employers don’t want lifeless robots that only sleep, dream and breathe their 9-5 job, they want someone who can have fun while getting work done! Showing you care about ANYTHING is attractive because it shows you have PASSION.
4. Stay on top of your commitments. Being organized and on top of your tasks, no matter how big or small, is crucial in any workplace. When you show that you are dependable and can handle things being thrown at you with poise and grace, people want you to stick around.
5. Be a team player. You probably will not like everyone you meet in your life, you might not even enjoy all of your coworkers, but you must remain compatible for the sake of the company. True professionalism is shown when you are able to work with various types of people and personalities, show respect, and still get the job done.
6. Be able to communicate. This might be the most important characteristic of any human in general. The phrase ‘communication is key’ is worldly known regarding relationships of various kinds. Here at DWM we pride ourselves on being a relationship-based company creating lifetime bonds with our clients. This does not happen overnight and will not happen if genuine communication is not consistent. Know when to speak up, know when to listen, know when to follow and know when to lead. Know how to communicate efficiently, effectively and timely.
7. Be trustworthy. Like the bullet above, relationships are important in any job. Being someone anyone can trust will give you a leg up. Be genuine, be kind, be willing to help when others need it. Be someone others can trust.
In a year when everything became upside down, we saw true colors from people near and far. Being the best employee, partner, family member, friend, mentor, leader, should be something we strive for all the time. Job security is something that can come and go, but there is more to keeping a job than your qualifications. Like John Wooden said, “Talent will get you in the door, but character will keep you there.” Are you wonderful to work with?