Published On : February 17, 2015
Your Social Network: The Strongest Form of Job Security
In our modern labor landscape, traditional forms of "job security" are a thing of the past. Generations ago, when workers landed an entry level job, they often stayed with the same company for the next ten years or more. Sometimes workers and employers would even maintain their relationship for the entire duration of the employee's working life, from the mail room to retirement.
These days, mail rooms are no longer common, and neither are lifelong bonds forged between worker and boss. On average, employees stay with one company for about 2.5 years before moving on, and this timeline is steadily getting even shorter. Employees are no longer looking for a company that can support them through the years, and employers rarely hesitate to let go of workers during budget contractions and slow business cycles.
So if you can't count on your employer to keep your career on track, who—or what—can you count on? When the path ahead becomes uncertain, how can you make sure you'll still have a job this time next year? Or next week? The answer lies in your ability to maintain a strong social network.
Modern workers who suddenly find themselves without a job reach for the phone, but they don't just call their ex bosses to beg for a reference. They call their friends, former coworkers, old professors, parent's friends, friend's parents, and friends of friends of friends. And the longer and stronger their list of contacts, the faster they step back onto the career ladder.
What This Means for Present and Future Job Seekers
Long story short: your current boss should represent only one of dozens of reliable career development resources. You spend hours every day working to please and impress him or her, and that's fine. But when it comes to social capital, make sure you diversify your investments. Keep your friends close. Recognize that Friday evening happy hour isn't just a way to unwind; it's an opportunity to connect with others and build mutual bonds that can help each of you keep your career footing during the unpredictable years that lie between now and retirement.
Education Doesn't Stop On Graduation Day
While you're building and strengthening your social network, you'll also need to build and strengthen your skills; the ones you're using now and the ones you may need in the future. Take care of both of these at the same time by reading, enrolling in courses, asking your company to provide specific forms of training, and signing yourself up for evening and weekend classes in anything you choose, from knitting to CPR to dog training to conversational French.
Build a complex, complete life for yourself and weave a rich tapestry of friends, activities, and learning experiences into your weekly and monthly routine. Invest in your current job, but make sure you aren't focusing all of your attention on just one endeavor. Branch out continue to grow. That way, you'll know exactly how to plan your next move when it's time to make a change. On that day, reach out to the team at MyPerfectResume. We'll help you prepare for the next exciting chapter of your story.