Creating Job Security in a Difficult Market

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I think we all expected that, by now, the economy would be in better shape than it currently is. The lack of a sustained recovery is weighing heavily on the minds of millions of people, and it’s reflected in our nation’s outlook.

According to a recent weekly Gallup poll dated June 28, 2011, only 31% of Americans feel the economy is improving – which is consistent with what Gallup was reporting throughout the entire month, but substantially less than the 37% reported weekly during the month of May. This latest figure is also well below the 36% reported during this same week in 2010. Americans are also now more likely to say the economy is staying the same or getting worse than to say it is getting better.

The polls may reflect a general sense of pessimism permeating throughout the nation, but you and I have a choice to view things quite differently. Your attitude, which determines your outlook toward life, opportunities, and success, does not depend on external factors like the economy or your job, or the lack thereof. You can decide what your attitude will be this day, right now. In his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, noted psychiatrists and Nazi concentration camp survivor, Victor Frankel, wrote, “The last of the human freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Now more than ever, it is imperative that we continue to look for ways to create positive changes in our lives that will help us not only survive this difficult economy, but succeed in spite of it.

In an effort to address the relevant issues so many of us are facing as entrepreneurs, professionals, business owners, and employees alike, I have written about best practices, practical ideas, and resources that can help you on your journey toward success. I have recently addressed the issue of unemployment in two separate columns: How To Write A Winning Resume, and How To Creatively Find Work Even When Companies Aren’t Hiring (for more information you can visit But despite the high unemployment figures, there’s still a much larger percentage of people who are fortunate enough to have a job, yet they feel uncertain about their job security because the economy continues to force employers to cut back and downsize their organizations. If you can relate to this feeling of uncertainty, consider these positive ideas that you can implement immediately to create that job security for yourself:

  • Be the MVP: In this difficult job market it isn’t enough to simply be a valuable employee, it’s time to go beyond that. Regardless of how anyone else around you goes about their work, you should strive to be the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of your organization. Anything less won’t do.

  • Be Flexible: The best way to achieve that coveted MVP status is to be flexible, and able to adapt to change. The world of business is changing on a daily basis – especially in these difficult times. These changes don’t simply affect corporations, they affect you and me personally as well. Employers need team members who are capable of adapting to change and who are flexible. There’s no room in business for the “that’s not my job”, or “that’s not my responsibility” attitude. The moment you’re faced with an opportunity to perform a task that must be done – even if it falls outside your comfort zone – do it. That’s a sure way to get noticed as an MVP.

  • Anticipate Your Company’s Needs: Being an MVP is not about working harder or putting in overtime. It has to do with your personal commitment and your initiative. It has to do with your willingness to understand the needs of your organization. Go above and beyond the call of duty. Anticipate. Be proactive.

  • Be Positive: I know that there are some people out there who think that the job there in is not their dream job, and they don’t feel motivated to be an MVP. It’s important, though, to remember that having a steady job these days is considered by some as a blessing. It would be nearly impossible in this economy to create job security for ourselves if we didn’t value what we do have and appreciate the fact that we are able to work. After all, our attitude affects our outlook on life, our work and our success. Nurture a positive attitude and give it your all. Be the MVP you’re capable of becoming and create that job security for yourself.

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