Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Job

While finding and securing a job is challenging enough.  Once you find a job, here are 10 tips to keep in mind to help keep your job.

Tip #1 – Know what is expected of you.
Almost every job changes or regularly evolves.  The job that you started with a few years ago has probably changed. It’s very easy to fall back into the idea that the job you started with, is the job that you currently have.  As a step to improve your position and your job, it is highly suggested that you periodically talk to your boss or other superiors to find out what they really expect of you now and what they really want to see you accomplish in the future.

Tip #2 – Don’t gossip on the job.
It’s always been a good idea not to gossip in person or digitally. First of all, if others hear you speaking that way, you give him the impression that you have very little in the way of values.  If he/she sees you sitting around gossiping about other people, it will convey a certain attitude about you not to mention that you seem to have time on your hands.  It is also possible that the one you are criticizing or complaining about could wind up being your next new boss.  It goes without saying that in today’s age, one never wants to put any such discussion into email.  This creates a paper trail which is stored on the company’s server and can be forwarded to others with your identify ascribed to it.  So, think carefully before putting anything into email.  While you should avoid gossip, you should not be totally oblivious to office politics.  You need to be aware of office politics and you should not spend your work life living under a rock.  Be privy to changes in management, policy, and developments in that particular business sector.

Tip #3 – Have a positive attitude.
You don’t want to give people with whom or for whom you work, the impression that the only reason that you are there at the job is to collect your paycheck.  You don’t want to be viewed as an unmotivated person with a negative work ethic.  It is quite possible that when staff reductions are to be made, management may first look at those with a negative attitude, especially if the sentiment is polluting the work atmosphere.  Don’t send the message to the effect that since you don’t like to be there anyway, you will accept a layoff.

Tip #4 – Update your skill set.
You can always make time to research recent developments in your field, read relevant journals and online material, or take a training class, in order to improve your skill set.  Some companies offer access to training classes for those who ask as well as tuition reimbursement for courses (and degrees) which are relevant to the job. Keep current with technology in general and specifically that which relates to your field.  Don’t create an image that you are “old school”.  The more value you are to your employer, the more likely you are to keep your job.  Keeping current demonstrates a level of enthusiasm and desire to do well in your job.  Obviously, if you do well, so does your organization.

Tip #5 – If possible, take on more work or responsibility.
It also reflects well on you if you take on additional responsibility or at least offer to do so.  This might mean taking work home, staying after hours.  Doing this can help convey the impression that you are indispensable.  If you send a message things can’t get done without you, you’re less likely to be subject to a staff reduction.  The opposite of this is of course is to “punch the clock”, arriving no earlier than required and not staying a minute after that.

Tip #6 – Network.
There is the saying, it’s not what you know, but who you know.  This is relevant as your next boss may end up being a coworker, a friend of yours, or even a competitor.  Whenever possible, it is key that you build as many positive relationships with others.  In the world of employment, some job openings will not be advertised publically.  So, knowing many different types of people lots of people will improve your chances of finding that next job.  Joining a relevant professional organization in your field and attending their scheduled events is a great way to stay current with new developments, as well as people and job opportunities.

Tip #7 – Avoid all things personal at work.
Limit personal phone calls, online surfing/shopping, social media, and e-mails at work during work hours.  Your use of these channels can and will be tracked.  Using company tools and time for personal benefit will not sit well with your supervisor and organization.  Your supervisor or coworkers should not be hearing you are making personal calls/texts, sending personal emails, surfing the Internet, or doing online shopping. This will not reflect very well on you as an employee.  It goes without saying that you should not be running any side businesses or ventures on work time or on your office PC.

Tip #8 – Remain active.
Take notes when you are in a meeting or on the phone.  Keep a record of what you do.  Occasionally share your notes with your boss. Face time is very important.  Obviously, if your boss only sees you around the water cooler, that is not a very good sign; your boss should also see you working.  The boss should see you coming in early and/or staying late. It is very helpful to document what you have accomplished.  It is helpful to be able to relate to your boss (either during performance reviews or at other time) what you did and accomplished on a given date.

Tip #9 – Relationships are critical.
Many people who work in the professional world prefer to maintain a distance on a personal level.  Consequently, you may not think that is important to recognize those with whom we work.  You should be respectful and pleasant to others in the workplace.  While it may sound trivial, you should be aware of special events like birthdays, engagements, or “Secretaries Day” which others celebrate and recognize them appropriately and consistently.  It is important for you to find a balance between focusing on your job and developing professionally appropriate closeness as it pertains to your specific situation.  These relationships may ultimately be the difference between keeping a job and losing it.

Tip #10 – Follow the rules and be a team player so that you don’t give your boss an excuse to let you go.
At minimum, you should follow the basic rules and protocols of the organization.  Coming in late and/or leaving early does not look good.  Missing deadlines or complaining does not cast you in a desirable light.  Planning in advance for predictable and offering the organization something in return comes across more positively than perpetual last-minute requests.


About Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D.

Dr. Elliot D. Lasson is a graduate of UMBC with a B.A. in Psychology. He went on to earn his M.A. and Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit. Elliot has been in the Human Resources field during his entire career as a Consultant, Academic, Recruiter, and HR Director-- in both the private and public sectors. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Joblink of Maryland, a nonprofit job placement organization in Baltimore. In addition to that core mission, he provides career counseling, professional networking assistance, training, interview preparation, and resume reviews to clients. Dr. Lasson is a Member of SIOP and the Chesapeake HR Association. He also serves on the Governor's Workforce Investment Board in Maryland which recommends policies and programs to Governor O'Malley in an effort to enhance the State's workforce. He has also been an Advisory Board Member for "Of Both Worlds", an organization which helps facilitate entry into the workforce for college graduates. Dr. Lasson and his wife reside in Baltimore, with their three children.
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