Seek Self Improvement and Not Apathy

There are places where people work for years and get comfortable in their positions and believe that the are immune to being terminated or reassigned to doing something else. Then one day out of nowhere, upper management has to find ways to crack down on budgeting and start looking to cut personnel. We saw this especially in 2008 time frame and seeing how easy it was to size down their workforce and then see how the remaining people would take up the slack.

I want to get straight to the point. You should never settle into a job and get complacent with the looming perception that your job is secure. Realize that no one is immune to termination. An error in judgement such as crashing a major system or a critical accounting error could end your tenure where you are at. There is also the real possibility that your skill set is no longer a good fit for the company and they either no longer need you or outsource your job to someone else.

Never rest on self improvement. If you do not have a degree, work to get your Associates. Already have one of those, get your Bachelors. Got that? Guess what go get your Masters degree. The beautiful thing about degrees is that the knowledge gained in these institutions will be credited to you for the rest of your life.

Something else you should be doing is getting certified. Rather you are a technician or a manger, there is a most likely a certification out there for you to get. Certifications go a long way in the job market as these are credentials employers look for to set you apart from other candidates. Strive to maintain your certifications when they expire to stay relevant in the job market.

If you are lucky and your place of employment offers tuition reimbursement, use it. I cannot stress this enough. The average rate employers offer now is about $5200 a year that you can put towards your education. If that fund allocated to you goes unused, that is leaving money on the table. Seriously, would you really leave $5,000 on the table if you knew you could spend it on something to make you a better person. Well, I did that for 8 years.

That is right, I left at least $40,000 on the table that I could have used to improve myself. Thankfully, by the 9th year I had enough sense to remove my cranium from my pelvic area and take advantage of this benefit.

But that information plays more to my point, I can speak to getting complacent in my place of employment. I relied on my belief that I was great at what I did and was still marketable in the event something unfortunate happened. I had a reality check when I started going to interviews to actively seek traction in my career that I was not maintaining my skill set properly. If I were to truly lose my job, I would be in a much worse position. This is when I began to buckle down and improve myself.

You should be constantly improving yourself to deliver more value to your employer. Spend too long doing one thing or in one position, if you begin falling behind you are putting yourself for a tough battle if you have to get back out into the job market and compete for a job.

Read books! Whatever your passion is, Amazon can fulfill that with plenty of books. I have a stack of 7 books next to my chair here that I am reading through. I am doing that on top of going to school and working through professional certifications. If you feel that you are spending too much time watching TV or playing video games, use this as an opportunity to make time for self improvement.

Certainly, you do not want to put yourself in a place where you become dependent on one employer. Some employers will use your apathy to their advantage and use your fear of losing a job to do things you normally would not agree with.

The main focus here is consider your place of employment as a milestone in your career, not a destination. Constantly keep improving yourself, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

If there is one thing I could change where I work, is to see everyone take advantage of getting a higher education.


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