How to Achieve Job Security

a business handshake

Unless you’re part of the proverbial 1% (and statistically speaking, that’s unlikely), you probably worry about expenses: this month’s car payment; your student loan; the heating bill. All these are common causes for concern for an estimated 30% of the population. This means that in order to manage all these expenses and keep the dreaded repo-men at bay, you need a job.

Manual labor forms the backbone of the American workforce. In 2016, only about 17% of all work was classified as sedentary work, or work that did not require medium to heavy exertion. Food service, sanitation, and transportation jobs all require heavy physical exertion, and consequently, turnover in these industries can be quite high.

If you want to make sure you keep the lights on and the fridge well stocked, you’re going to have to do more than the bare minimum to ensure you keep your job. Here are a few tips to help you along.

Never Stop Learning

Your skills may have been adequate to secure your job when you first got it, but how do you know you have enough to offer to keep your job for the long haul? Managers are constantly on the lookout for new talent, and if you’re found wanting compared to other candidates, you could find yourself out of work.

The best managers always appreciate employees who go beyond their job descriptions and find ways to do more than what’s expected of them. A cashier who can also work the grill is more valuable than someone who just does one of those functions. Not only will knowing and doing more be a great way for you to protect your job; it will also be something you can leverage if you’re looking to advance your career.

Align with Your Boss

a businessman

Whether you report to a line manager, foreman, or directly to the business owner, your supervisor will probably have a number of goals and objectives that they’re trying to meet. Some supervisors will actually tell their people what these goals are, but many will not, leaving staff wondering what they’re working so hard for, and why.

While not all bosses in all industries would be encouraged, or even permitted, to disclose unlimited information to their subordinates, having a frank discussion about goals with your boss will go a long way towards building a stronger team at work. Discussions of this sort will allow you to align your goals with your supervisor’s, and may even give you a clue on what skills you may need to develop in order to advance (see prior tip).

Also, initiating a conversation such as this is a clear signal to your immediate supervisor that you’re fully invested in your team’s or company’s success. They’re probably going to be more willing to trust you with responsibilities if they know you care about what’s going on at work.

These are just two of many possible courses of action that you can choose to safeguard your place at work. No matter what you do, job security boils down to doing things that make you indispensable at work. If you’ve developed yourself enough to the point that your company can’t operate without you, that’s when you know your job is safe.