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Five Keys to Keeping Your Job

By Charles Hopkins Published 09/20/2007 | Jobs and Careers
You may be fortunate enough to have a job today, but with the history of the job market, that may not be the case tomorrow. That is unless you make yourself stand out from the "crowd."

There are five basic keys to keeping the job you have. Even if it is one you don't enjoy, you can use that position as a launching pad for your ideal position in the future by using these suggestions.

Communicate Effectively

First, you need to be able to communicate well. As one of the Proverbs says, "When anyone is replying to a matter before he hears it, that is foolishness on his part..." That means that listening closely to your employer and to your co-workers can prevent misunderstandings and keep you from making foolish mistakes that could cause you problems and unnecessary stress.

Also, you need to speak so that you can be heard and understood. You need to speak clearly and loudly enough to be heard, but not too loud so as to appear that you are angry or trying to show authority over your co-workers. If you do this, it is more likely that you will be understood, and others, including your employer, will have more respect for you and more likely to listen to what you have to say.

Get Along With Others

Second, you need to get along with others. You spend more time at your workplace than you do at home, so you might become very close friends with some of your work mates. You also might not like some of them. This could lead to complaining or gossiping about some of your co-workers, or worse yet, your job and your employer. A piece of advise, "..make it your aim to live quietly and to mind your own business." This not only makes for better working conditions but you will avoid wasting your employer's time and possibly causing needless friction with your co-workers.

Go the Extra Mile

Thirdly, do more than is expected. if you want to keep your job, you can set yourself apart from the "pack" by doing each task assigned the very best you can. The greatest man who ever lived said, "If someone under authority impresses you into service for a mile, go with him two miles." If you have a reputation of being a hard worker--one who will go the extra mile--you will be more likely to keep your job, even if others may lose theirs.

Be Honest

Fourth, be honest. In a survey of over 1,400 companies, the majority of employers "ranked honesty and integrity as qualities that impress them most in job candidates." Of course that would include the obvious things like not stealing money or materials from the job. But even more important is not stealing your employer's time. An employment agency conducted a study that revealed that time theft averaged over four hours per employee per week. These employees tended to be late, leave early, and socialized with other employees while they should have been working.

Even if your boss is not looking, chances are someone is, and that person just might be your next supervisor or a person in a position to decide if you keep your job. If you have a reputation for working well--even when not supervised--you are an employee to be trusted, and one the company will want to keep.

Be Organized

Fifth, be organized. If you are organized and keep your workspace neat, you are less likely to lose time looking for things you need, or more importantly the things your employer might need. A neat workspace is a time saver and saves your company money. And you can be sure others will notice. Besides, if you organized and know how to quickly locate things, you will have less stress and enjoy your work more.

Bottom Line

Things change quickly. Mergers and mismanagement cause businesses to close every day. Other companies, due to economic downturns, are forced to reduce their number of employees either temporarily or possibly even permanently. Then your employer will be forced to decide who will go and who will stay. If you have made the above suggestions your personal habits as an employee, you are more likely to be one of the ones your employer considers to be a "keeper." When pay increases are considered, these same habits will bring you more increases than others with your same job skills.

So, enjoy your work and use it to build a reputation as the one your employer can always count on to take direction, work well with others, be organized and not a time-waster. That will make your day at work much more enjoyable and help you keep your job when others are losing theirs.