Monday, January 07, 2008

Be Smart about Face Time & Other Tips for Building Job Security

Upgrade your marketability, spruce up the resume, volunteer and be smart about face time. Those are a few suggestions for building job security during a rocky economy. Some of the tips were featured in the January 6 edition of Parade.
Here's their list followed by my own tips:
1. Keep your resume current. Beyond your latest job, make sure that your resume includes recent awards, accomplishments, achievements, certifications and any other tidbits that positively reflect your professional growth and career profile.

2. Upgrade your skills. I wrote about different courses in this post: Free Online Typing Drills: 10 Frugal Business & Craft Classes. Career development options include online courses, seminars, community classes, local universities and colleges.

3. Network. Attend industry events, business gatherings and conferences. The goal: to build a better network of professional and community contacts. I've found a wide range of job opportunities through former co-workers and managers. You never know who will be in a position to hire you or recommend you for new assignments, positions or short-term contracts.

4. Volunteer for a community group. Non-profit organizations are packed with heavy-hitters. While working on a community fair, fundraiser or newsletter, it's possible to bond and connect with individuals who can provide valuable contacts and insights. Even PTA meetings provide networking opportunities.
Here are other ideas based on comments from friends and my own experience.

1. Look for workplace gaps: Due to global, industry and personnel changes there are so many opportunities (aka: gaps) in the office. For instance, your company may need help with an online campaign or some other task where there is a void in coverage. Don't get in over your head, but step up to the plate if you have untapped skills that will help your department or company. Document your participation with a friendly memo or note to those involved or with power to promote you. Don't lay it on too heavy, but mention your achievements and participation.

2. Come in early. All of my bosses and managers loved, loved, loved employees who arrived 15 to 30 minutes (or more) before the official start time. In contrast, staying late, I discovered, doesn't carry the same clout as coming in early. In fact, if you stay too late, some people think that you have a time management problem. Bottom line: be smart about face time.

3. Stay well-read. Every industry has a few trade publications that are available online, at the library or through subscription. These publications are a valuable source of information, trends and even job tips. What's more, you sound really smart and plugged in when you talk to your manager, co-workers or other industry players at different events.

4. Enter competitions: Many industries and trade groups sponsor competitions or awards programs. From money-saving ideas to new product campaigns, various competitions can raise your profile in the office and in your industry. You don't have to win to really win. An honorable mention or a certificate-of-participation can be as good as gold and will look great on your resume.

5. Get published. Write an article for an online publication or the standard print media. The sources of publication outlets are endless and include: community newspapers, online journals, blogs, trade publications, specialty and hobby magazines. Publication credits provide this boost: 1) a resume lift, 2) wider exposure and 3) additional value to your name.
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1 comment:

Chief Family Officer said...

Funny about your second #2, it works the opposite way in most law firms. Coming in early doesn't earn you points, but staying late does. I think it's because partners tend to dump work on associates at the last minute, so you look better if you're willing to stay late to finish a job that could have been assigned and completed two days earlier.