THE NEW JOB SECURITY REVISED

by Pam Lassiter

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Table of ContentsTestimonialsWork FormsReviews, Articles, Blogs, Interviews

The new Job Security RevisedFifty years ago, workers strove to move steadily up the ranks of one or two stable companies. Today's workers jump from company to company, building contacts, expanding skill sets, and increasing salaries at each one. Job security has taken on a new meaning, referring to security within your chosen career, rather than a single company.

Unfortunately, nobody teaches us how to develop career management strategies before we join the workforce and realize we need them to grow our careers. Even if you were lucky enough to pick up some basic strategies in college, they have a tendency to change. The good news is that you can change as well and The New Job Security will give you the tools you need to effectively manage your career, not for a single job hunt, but over your lifetime.

In THE NEW JOB SECURITY, executive career management consultant, Pam Lassiter, teaches mid-career professionals how to navigate this new work environment by mastering five key skills:

  1. Send Clear Signals

  2. Market for Mutual Benefit

  3. Stop Looking for Jobs

  4. Build Sustainable Networks

  5. Negotiate in Round Rooms

If you're looking for ways to take control of a current job, or struggling to manage the transitional period between jobs, Lassiter's proven advice shows workers at all stages of their careers how to stay competitive and achieve their professional goals.

Move over Richard Bolles! Pam Lassiter has written the career book for the new millennium and new economy. Though basically common sense - as are all good self-help books - this one is current and relevant, and the ideas are packaged in a clever yet practical way, one that hopefully will make its suggestions easier to implement.

Bob Gardella
Former Director of Alumni Career Services,
Harvard Business School

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The Table of Contents

(To read excerpts from The New Job Security, click on the highlighted links
  in the table of contents below)

  • Introduction: Career Whiplash

    Excerpt: What Is the New Job Security?

  • Strategy #1: Send Clear Signals
  • Strategy #2: Market for Mutual Benefit
  • Strategy #3: Stop Looking for Jobs

    Excerpt: Introduction
    Excerpt: The Birth of a Job

  • Strategy #4: Build Sustainable Networks
  • Strategy #5: Negotiate in Round Rooms
  • Conclusion: You Don't Have One

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Work Forms From Various Chapters

(To use the forms that pertain to the content in the book, click on the highlighted links below to open each PDF form in a new browser window. These forms can be printed from the browser or saved to you computer.

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When it comes to the hard work of finding great work, Pam Lassiter is the consummate pro. She has the experience, the common sense, and proven track record. My advice: take her advice.

Alan M. Webber,
Founding Editor,
Fast Company

Lassiter challenges us to take a lifetime view of our careers. Each chapter provides useful tools to achieve a successful transition from 'job search' to 'job security.' A must-read for those seeking growth and satisfaction in their careers.

Dr. Myra Hart,
Professor of Management Practice,
Harvard Business School

In the New Job Security, Pam Lassiter has taken on today's complex career management challenges and provides the reader with tools that work in the real world.

David Opton,
Founder & CEO,
ExecuNet

From: The Ingredients of a Career

A New Attitude:
Avoiding the Inverse Security Monster

If you're currently employed, especially if you've been working for a company for a long time, you may be at risk and not even know it. You may have fallen prey to the Inverse Security Monster. The Inverse Security Monster creeps up on you slowly as you get comfortable in your work, become immersed in the day-to-day details, and start forgetting about that competitive edge that got you into the company in the first place. The blinders start to slide into place as you look down rather than out. You're taking employment for granted. Inverse Security means that the longer you work for one company, the more insular and at risk you can become unless you are actively managing your career. The Inverse Security Monster can consume your competitiveness, making transitions to another job slower and tougher. It's easy to defeat the Monster, but you have to be awake at the controls to do so. If you've been with a company for a long time and want to stay hot, learn the new career management skills and consciously pursue your growth and success as a professional outside your company as well as inside it by building your reputation and your network. Being known and respected both inside and outside of your company brings your job security where it belongs: within you.

(P.S. Your friends who the Inverse Security Monster has already eaten won't be thinking of career management, so do them a favor and show them this paragraph. You can rescue them.)

What Is the New Job Security?

The New Job Security is a work agreement that you make with yourself. You consciously decide to take the initiative in your work life, to set your own course for your current employment and future alternatives. No, this doesn't mean that you're going to tell your boss what to do and tell everybody else to get out of the way. It does mean that you will have your own professional goals and fallback plan. You decide how you're going to play to win, and you tweak your strategy according to the cards you are dealt. As you transfer the control of job security to yourself, you'll develop an overall strategy to help you get what you want from your work. You'll learn how to develop a demand for your services, either at your current company or a new one, so you will always have choices. You'll identify goals and the skills that you'll need to reach them. You'll develop backup plans to help you conquer the challenges that will inevitably appear. Anticipating change and being ahead of the game, positioned where you want to be before shifts in the economy or company occur, will keep you vital. Watch out world: you're taking control and you're going to make a difference.

Once you've created your New Job Security, you can:

To achieve the New Job Security, you just need to become comfortable with the 5 best strategies that I teach in my practice, which thousands of people are now using successfully. Without these skills you are at a significant disadvantage, both while you're employed and while you're in transition. With them, it's like being the only person to have discovered SAT prep courses when the exam is coming up. Who's going to do better?

The Birth of a Job

To give you more options than waiting for job postings, recruiters, or search firms to surface-in other words, reacting to the marketplace-let's look at how jobs are created. This is truly the main course: how to find meaningful work not by looking for jobs but by creating them. A job's boundaries are artificial; they change all the time. How a company divides work in order to produce its products and services must evolve continually because market needs, technology, and economic conditions can shift overnight, changing the demands on the company. Have you looked at the job description for your current job lately? What you're doing has changed from what you signed on for. You can take advantage of these changes to create the type of work that you'd like to do by tapping into the job formation process earlier and not waiting for approved, funded, highly competitive job openings to appear.

Let's look at how jobs are created to see why getting involved earlier can give you more interesting choices. Jobs don't just "exist" when a company is started; they are born when there are problems or opportunities. How many employees did Hewlett-Packard have when it was started? Sears, Roebuck and Co.? Harley-Davidson? Your company has just won a new contract; you have a deadline and aren't sure whether you can make it; you're not getting accurate, timely information for decision making; you don't have enough business. There are millions of problems every day in every operation, and good times can create them as well as bad times. These pressures may not lead to someone thinking, "I need to get some more help here" so much as "How in the world am I going to handle all of this?" Can you tell where I'm headed?

Traditionally, internal pressure mounts to the point where it becomes clear that additional help is needed. Then a manager, or a smart administrative assistant who plants the seed, realizes that it's time to get serious and start the formal hiring process. This is not something they embrace joyfully; they have other things to do, but there's no choice. More help has become essential. In order to actually hire someone, many steps are needed. Someone needs to take responsibility for shepherding the job through the system. Job descriptions, consensus with other employees, budgeting, approvals, and timing all need to be worked out. Once a job becomes official, it's often posted internally first. Then, and only in a small portion of cases, is it advertised publicly on a job board or trade magazine or through a search firm. If you worked in human resources, would you really want to post a job publicly? It costs a lot, brings in a lot of garbage, and gets people mad at you for not responding to them. Posting a large, expensive want ad is closer to an act of desperation than a standard operating procedure.

Strategy #3: Stop Looking for Jobs

When professionals describe the pain they feel after having been rejected or, worse yet, ignored by multiple companies, their discouragement is palpable. "I was a perfect fit for their opening and I didn't even hear back from them." Or, "After the initial screening by the search firm, they wouldn't even return my calls." Or, "I applied for a promotion in another part of my company, didn't get it, and now my boss has cut me out of the information loop."

There's an easy solution to feeling like road kill. Stop looking for jobs.

People are always taken aback when I say this. "How can I? Job openings are real, and they're currently available. That's where the income, security, and opportunities are." Like Willie Sutton, who chose to rob banks because "that's where they keep the money," professionals know that a company is where the jobs are kept, and so job listings or search firms must be the best way in. This is true sometimes, but not always. Posted job openings, regardless of whether they're listed on a company's website, on a job board, internally, or with a search firm, are just a fraction of what's happening. The same goes for search firms. Not all companies can afford or choose to pay others to do their searches for them. You can have it all. You can have relationships with search firms, know how to draw them to you, respond to the few ads that are worth your time, and then use the majority of your time to hang around "where they keep the money," addressing company problems that are just waiting for you to solve them.