One in five of us fear losing our jobs according to the media. If you're like most people, your job is your biggest investment. Losing it is really bad for your wealth.
In short, the answer is: invest in your career. That means spending both time and money making yourself a better employee and a better job candidate. It can involve everything from networking, to raising your personal brand, studying to add a string to your bow, or getting a coach or mentor. You might even want to do all four.
The benefits include: keeping your existing job, climbing the corporate ladder, or making yourself more employable should you be made redundant. This is how to get started:
- Networking: some of the most successful people I know plan networking opportunities virtually every day. Just start by thinking about who you sit with at in the staff canteen. Over and above work it's a good idea to join industry organisations and attend as many functions as you can – and even consider volunteering to help, which is a great way to get noticed.
- Raising your personal brand: ask yourself if you're seen as a water cooler whinger, or one of the can-do staff who are going places? You need to set goals if you want to raise your brand and push the boat up by coming up with great business ideas to ingratiate yourself with your superiors. Don't forget to remind your superiors of the value you add to the business. Sadly to change how you're perceived by colleagues you might need to ditch the losing team you're hanging out with at lunchtimes and after work.
- Studying: in times of recession, university enrolments increase. The tough times won't last, but new skills will, points out the Open Polytech. If, for example, you're stuck at the top of the technical career ladder, but want to enter management, there are plenty of part-time management courses and MBAs available. You could even study extramurally through Massey University or the Open Polytech. Also it's worth checking out is the website Wordwidelearn.com .
- Get a mentor or coach: these professionals work with you to change your thinking, your image at work, or even your career. Sure they cost money. But it's rare indeed that you hear their clients complain. If money is a problem then look to your peers for a mentor. You'd be surprised how honoured some people are to be asked.
Finally if you're stuck in a rut at work, typecast, or just plain losing in the career stakes then you can reinvent yourself. After all, more of the same will just get you stick in a dingy cubby hole.
What are your tips for reinventing yourself?