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Dr. Greg Segment Summary

Job Security is Gone: Now Create Your Own “Career Security”

Dr. Greg Ketchum, 11/15/03

Good News
Economy has added jobs for 3 straight months. Unemployment went from 6.1 to 6.0%. Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 126,000 in October. This followed increases totaling 160,000 in Aug & Sep. During the Feb-July period, payroll employment had decreased by an average of 85,000 per month.  USDOL

The Challenging News – The End of Job Security
At the same time, even if we get back up to the same employment levels we saw in the 90’s the era of “job security” is over meaning that it's foolhardy to depend on your employer for security. In the old days (20 years ago) if you did a good job you could pretty much expect long-term employment along with regular promotions and raises. Now we are in a world economy and even if you're doing a great job for your company, your job itself could be shipped overseas as part of corporate outsourcing. More companies are paying people for their performance & contributions, not their position.

Career research findings estimate that the average American who began their career in the 1990”s will likely work in 10 or more jobs for five or more employers before retiring.

What to Do: Create Your Own “Career Security”
The only way to create any security for yourself is to invest in your career and build your own “career security” meaning…

  • Start thinking like an entrepreneur, ie. My career is my “business.”

  • Increase your marketability including choosing assignments that boost it.

  • Manage & build your skill portfolio based on researching workplace trends,

  • Build a solid track record of accomplishments & adding value to your employers.

  • Find your talent & motivation and build your career from there

Action Steps
In order to succeed in the 21st Century workplace and make the switch from expecting “job security” to creating “career security” take these 3 action steps.

Step 1:  Stop Thinking Job, Start Thinking Career & Plan Accordingly
Quit thinking in terms of “my job is my career.” It’s not. Put a career plan in place. Blend what you’re good at with what you’re passionate about. Read up on how to be an entrepreneur. You know what they say, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

Step 2:  Focus on Skill Development & Increasing Your Marketability
Research workplace trends and add skills accordingly. Always be looking for ways to increase your marketability & take assignments with that in mind. Take the high pay, low learning, or the high learning, low pay, not the low pay, low learning jobs.

Step 3:  Start a Career Management Group
You can’t tackle all of this on your own. Get together with a buddy and form a career management group. Each of you invite 2 other people. Meet once a month or quarterly to coach each other in developing your careers. Have each person bring a recent article that relates to careers or the future of work. Consider getting a career coach.

The bad news is that job security is over for most jobs. The good news is that gives you much more freedom to create the career you really want. Remember, with freedom comes responsibility. It’s your future and it’s up to you.

If you’ve got work or career topics you’d like to see us address, just send me an email at drgreg@talentplanet.com.

®2004 All rights reserved. Gregory A. Ketchum, Ph.D.

Career Advice

Dr. Greg is the “KRON 4 (San Francisco) Workplace and Career Expert”

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