What is job security and how can you improve yours?
Updated 18 March 2023
If you feel secure in your job, it can improve your efficiency, help you relax and improve your focus. With this in mind, learning how to become more secure in your job may help you increase your job satisfaction and overall well-being. Following these tips may also help you achieve your career goals and help you obtain an increased salary. In this article, we explain what job security is, why it's important and how you can improve it.
What is job security?
If someone has job security, it means that they're unlikely to lose their job, or their role is unlikely to become obsolete in the near future. This is true regardless of outside factors, such as changes in the economy or production methods. There are two essential parts of having a secure job that is sometimes applied together or separately.
The first is that an employee is irreplaceable and that their employment status with their organisation is, therefore, unlikely to change. Another application of the term relates to the role itself, meaning that the position is essential to an organisation's operations. This may be because the job is hard to automate or because the job is in demand.
Why is having job security important?
Having a secure job is important for both employees and employers. As a result, many organisations try to ensure that everyone feels as secure as possible in their roles. For employees, guaranteed job security:
creates a relaxed working atmosphere
reduces employee turnover
improves employee engagement
improves work quality
increases the company's financial bottom line
improves a company's reputation and image
raises employee morale
attracts new talent
How to become more secure in your job
There are many different ways of becoming more secure in your job, so it's always useful to research the most appropriate methods for your specific role and industry. This may, for instance, involve refining specific technical skills or obtaining specialist certification. Below are some more general ways you might secure your job:
1. Increase your productivity
By becoming more productive, you become increasingly indispensable to your organisation. Keep a record of your progress by creating a list of your ongoing professional goals, tracking how long it takes you to complete them and how much you complete on average. Then, set yourself targets to improve those goals. For example, if you work in sales, you might track your sales for a month and then aim to exceed that quota by 5% or 10% for each month after that. This can help you secure bonuses, pay raises and other benefits that distinctly show your value as an employee.
Related: How is productivity calculated?
2. Be more reliable
Being someone your manager knows they can go to if they need a task completed quickly and thoroughly makes your job much more secure. There are at least three ways to become more reliable. Firstly, if your manager requests something of you, respond promptly and with a realistic timeline for when you can complete the task. Setting reasonable expectations is key to being seen as reliable. Secondly, try to complete tasks on time. Meeting timelines, especially those you've agreed on, also builds you up as being reliable. Finally, ensure the work is completed to a high standard.
These steps combine so that your manager considers you more frequently for various tasks. By encouraging your manager to prioritise you, you make yourself more essential to your organisation. If your manager considers you to be reliable, they may assign more important tasks that increase your responsibilities and, potentially, your salary.
3. Minimise distractions
Becoming more focused at work is an excellent way of becoming more secure in your job, as it helps you prioritise your daily tasks and increases your productivity without you even noticing. Reducing time spent on personal calls or the Internet and instead focusing strictly on work-related tasks also increases the quality of your work, making you more reliable in the process. This shows employers that you take your job seriously, which is, in itself, a method of securing your job by showing your passion and dedication towards it.
4. Engage in meetings
If you hold or attend meetings in person or over the Internet as part of your job, showing that you're engaged and focused during them shows employers that you prioritise your job. Consider how you're being seen. If you're attending a meeting in person, pay attention to those who are speaking, dress presentably and sit up straight. If you're using a webcam, ensure that you have good lighting, that the camera meets your eye level and that your body is facing towards the camera.
Regardless of whether the meeting takes place in person or online, you may also show you're engaged by asking and answering questions when appropriate, adding relevant information to the discussion at suitable points and making notes that you might follow up on later.
5. Accept additional responsibilities
Depending on your current responsibilities, you may accept more tasks. Being an employee that juggles numerous responsibilities successfully helps you become more indispensable and, therefore, more secure in your job. Try to be amongst the first to volunteer for extra responsibilities, but always consider what the responsibilities are before you make yourself available, as it's essential that you don't take on tasks you're unprepared for. Remember that this step is only effective in making your job more secure if you complete the additional tasks on time and to an acceptable standard.
If you feel you may be able to take on further responsibilities, but currently don't have enough time with your current workload, talk with your manager. Evaluating your skill set and discussing your workload with your manager helps you display your value by reducing tasks that others can complete, freeing yourself up to complete more valuable tasks that you feel complement your skills more effectively.
6. Learn more
By dedicating yourself to lifelong learning, you develop new skills that may impress your employer. Embracing new technology, for instance, shows that you're able to adapt quickly and learn new ways of working. Look specifically for ways to become an expert on something fundamental to your organisation's operations. Managers often turn to experts when they're in need of support or attempting to overcome a challenge in the workplace. Find an area where you might be able to build your knowledge, and once you've done that, be sure to look for opportunities to share this knowledge on projects or during discussions.
7. Mentor and support staff
Use your leadership and mentor skills by embracing any chance to help lead a project or train new employees. Finding opportunities to answer questions that other team members have may improve their perception of you as a valuable member of staff. Look for opportunities to directly support individual team members when appropriate. By making yourself the go-to person to lead groups, answer questions and solve problems, you become an invaluable employee and make your job more secure.
8. Be solution-oriented
Focusing on solving issues as they arise in the workplace and using your problem-solving abilities helps you solidify your value to the organisation. As challenges arise, uncover the root problem and actively plan with others to help think of solutions. When you've created a detailed plan that may help the organisation or a department overcome a problem, approach your manager or team leader and present the solution to them.
9. Build relationships
Having a good relationship with your colleagues, team leader and upper management ensures that you're seen as an integral part of the team. Having good soft skills means that you're easy to work with and makes you seem more reliable overall. This is important to consider even if you work remotely. Communicating with all of your team members regularly in a professional, suitable and concise way and actively listening when being spoken to consolidates your position as someone people can interact with. This, by extension, makes your job more secure.
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