“Increase Your Job Security,” Ensign, Mar. 1993, 61–62
Ted and Ken both work for the sanitation department of a large city. Each morning at 4:00 A.M. they board a large garbage truck. Ted thinks his job is to empty garbage cans into the back of the truck. Ken thinks he is responsible to help keep the city looking clean and neat. Can you guess which one was promoted?
Job satisfaction and job security often go hand in hand. The more you enjoy your job, the more valuable you are to your present employer.
At any given time, many people are being fired or laid off by their employers. Many other employees worry that they will become unemployed. Whether you are planning to stay in your current job for several years or contemplating changing jobs or careers, now is an ideal time to examine both your job security and your job satisfaction.
If you want to remain with your present employer, examine the contributions you are making. How well are you performing in your present job? What can you do to make yourself more valuable to your employer? What can you do to increase the satisfaction you receive from the work you do? Identify your main responsibilities at work. Then make a list of the areas in which you excel. Ask yourself what you must do to improve the job you are now doing.
Some employees are effective; they know exactly what needs to be done. However, many effective people don’t know how to be efficient, and it takes them much longer than it should to complete a task. Some employees are efficient; they know how to work smart. But sometimes they don’t focus on their primary responsibilities and are therefore not effective. It is a rare person who is both effective and efficient. Most employees would increase their value to the firm by making improvements in one or both areas.
Maybe all you need to do to be both more efficient and more effective is to become better organized. Would you benefit by taking a course in time management?
You probably perform several tasks very well. However, do these tasks make up the most important parts of your job? You probably recognize this rule of thumb: Most people spend 20 percent of their time doing 80 percent of their job, and the remaining 80 percent of their time is devoted to completing 20 percent of their work, as well as nonwork activities such as breaks, personal calls, and visiting with other employees. With this in mind, make a list of areas in which you need to improve.
Do you need additional education and training that will help you do your present job better? Education used to end at graduation. That is not the case any more. Now employees need to continue their education indefinitely. Companies spend a great deal of money to provide quality in-house training and education.
Additional education may be especially important if you are considering changing jobs or careers in the near future. A nearby college may offer the courses you need. Make a list of courses that will be helpful to you. Often, employers will reimburse employees for tuition when they complete courses that improve their job skills.
Whether you plan to stay with your present employer or you want to change jobs, it is to your advantage to take time to improve your job security and prepare for job opportunities that may become available in the future.—Jerry Mason, Lubbock, Texas