Job security for baby boomers. 7 things you must know and do
Times are tough, especially for my generation. We baby boomers are approaching the end of our maximum career potential. Many of us are in that vulnerable category of expendable middle management. Yes, time has caught up with us too. We weren’t immune, like many of us thought. Growing up in the midst of the American century, many of us believed the party would last forever. Layoffs, illness, aging parents and expensive college age kids have arrived.
No one can guarantee job security, but I can share with you the secrets I learned to maximize your chances of hanging on to your job.
1) Project optimism and confidence, even if you have to fake it. If you’re worried that a layoff is imminent, then by all means start looking for another job, but in the meantime, put on a confident and optimistic face. Show up to work everyday with a smile and positive outlook.
2) Work harder and longer than your colleagues. Sounds simple doesn’t it? You’d be surprised how many people subconsciously give up and broadcast these feelings to management. I’ve been on both sides of this equation and know how this works. When planning layoffs, management considers many factors. Some of them are out of your control, but all else being equal those who demonstrate a willingness to work harder and longer stand a better chance of being retained. Common sense, but again I was amazed how many people overlooked this basic tenet of job security.
3) Network, network…An overused term, but still vital. Make yourself available and known to key players at your company. Get to know the well liked old timers. Many of them are a valuable source of company secrets, such as what management values. Volunteer for the crap assignment nobody else wants. You’ll know what these are at your company.
4) Compliment your boss and colleagues. Genuine compliments are always welcome. Most bosses love praise and recognition. Your colleagues love it too. Despite what you think, sincere compliments have always worked. You’ll be amazed at the effect this has on people. Just don’t be too obvious or engage in transparent flattery or you’ll make enemies among your peers. There is a trick to this, that I can show you.
5) Stay focused on your job, but take on more. Make it known you welcome extra work. Learn new skills, attend seminars, join trade associations. In other words, make yourself known as a go to person.
6) Don’t gossip, but discretely listen to it. Even the rumor mongers sometimes possess valuable information that can help you. Become known as a trusted colleague who can keep secrets.
7) Be enthusiastic. Promote the company any chance you get. Let it be known how much you love to work for your company and how much you love your job-even if you don’t. Again, fake it if you have to. Just don’t go overboard with this or you’ll be branded a phony. I can also teach you how to do this, if it seems too difficult.
8) Bonus: Learn how to project confidence, calmness and competence even when you don’t feel like it. Learn how to minimize anxiety and crippling stress through hypnosis. I used these techniques in my career and would love to show you how to use them too.
Does all of this sound simple and even simplistic? Maybe so, but I learned from the masters-The Japanese. I worked for the best and brightest in Japan and learned their most coveted management secrets. The stuff they don’t want the West to know about. I rose from a local sales rep to an executive VP with a large mulitnational corporation by applying these principles; plus a few more.
If you want to know more, contact me. I’d love to help. We’re in this together.