At any given time in a career, you run the risk of being laid off, getting fired, going broke, dealing with criticism, becoming disabled or unable to work, forced to find new work fast, discrimination etc.
Ironically, the more successful you become, the greater the risks.
Try these 6 timeless career survival tactics to help you minimize risk throughout your career.
6. Diversify your network
Make connections beyond your own career path. Every person should have at least one friend or expert in their lives in the following areas:
- Insurance professional
- Financial advisor
- Website designer/business owner
- Artist or graphic designer
- Real estate broker
Why all these people and what makes them important?
Each of the above professions cover one thing related to survival in the United States.
Whether it be your money, safety, legal needs, home construction, personal health, political influence, or simply finding a place to live, having a person in each field that you trust will benefit you.
If you cannot sure why today, you will find out the day you try to start a business, deal with the IRS, need to make sure your prescriptions are filled, need a job etc.
5. Stay committed to educating yourself
There is no such thing anymore as a college education and work experience being enough to advance your career. In order to earn more you have to learn more for your career growth.
Why should you never stop learning?
Companies do not always invest in specialized training.
Plus, college degrees only represent an education that was relevant at the time you had attended school.
Get your certifications. If you spot something more should be learned, act on that instinct and learn it.
4. Never be afraid to relocate for a job or change it
Never fear changing jobs, your career path, and relocating for new work.
Are you saying move to the middle of nowhere for a job?
Yes. Survival is defined as “the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances.”
If you change where you live to keep your job, especially in a global economy, you will benefit from the experience.
If you want to stay put and find a new job locally, do so before the company does layoffs. Lean on your friends and family for assistance.
Your career is a journey. If you choose not to relocate for your career, but career survival demands it, you are damaging your career path to success.
3. Always improve and adjust your salary for inflation
If you think you are making lots of money now, please keep in mind your salary will not be worth the same for much longer. You have to prepare to negotiate up when it comes to salary.
What is the big deal with inflation if I am making lots of money now?
Imagine for a moment that you start a new business. Now, imagine you make $75,000/year, you are single, and live alone in a US state with a low cost of living.
Now, check and see what $75K looks like today vs what it looked like 20 years ago.
Whatever you are making now at your job, 20 years from now it will not be the same great salary you once believed was more than enough.
2. Do your very best to never require government financial assistance
Whether it be financial aid or social security for disability, do your very best to never file for financial assistance from the government. There are better ways to make the little amount of money the government provides.
Why not if I am entitled to financial assistance?
Speaking from personal experience, the day you rely on borrowed money from the government, your career becomes dictated by rules and laws that seem to restrict you from moving forward rather than help you.
Do your best to avoid dealing with them. If you must get assistance, remember that government money is not a salary. It is meant to help you temporarily, so it will not be a lot of money.
Time spent proving you need assistance is better spent finding a job with a company who understands your need for work-life balance.
1. Get action-focused during your toughest career challenges
We live in a world in which everyone can discuss feelings and how everyone should be feeling.
If you are going through a career challenge, do not get caught up in the trend of emphasizing “feelings” over “actions”. Become action-focused.
Start improving your feelings by taking actions that lead to positive consequences.
Remember this whenever you fear offending someone
When you focus on feeling the right way during your most difficult career times, you stop taking action in your career to improve it. Here is a step-by-step example of focusing too much on feelings:
- You are laid off by your boss
- Instead of moving forward, you stop to analyze how everyone “felt”.
- “My boss laid me off! But I guess he was only thinking of the business. He must have a family, too, so I should feel more understanding. It must not have been easy for him. Still, it feels unfair that he gave me no time to prepare for a new job. This just feels so unfair to me.”
- The consequences of taking no action results in an unemployed person focused on rationalizing feelings, instead of actions that should have or will be taken.
Try a focus on action:
“This was a learning experience. I have to find a new job.”
What makes an action-focus a key to career survival
You hold yourself accountable for moving forward when you focus on taking action.
On the other hand, if you always hold yourself accountable for the feelings of others, you set an impossible standard for yourself. Behaving as if you can accommodate all the feelings of every person in your career leads to paralyzing fear of taking action.
No one can read minds and you should not wait for anyone to read yours. Waiting to take action is a career-killer.