7 Ways to Increase Your Job Security

There is a lot of advice and information out there on branding yourself for the job search; however, personal branding isn’t just a one-time activity.  Personal branding is an ongoing process that can not only help you advance your career once you get an opportunity, but also help you to keep your job in tough economic times.

Here are 7 tips on how personal branding can help you increase your job security at work:

Demonstrate to your boss that you get it. Make it known that you know what needs to get done and are doing it and a lot more. Today job security is about company security. Any employer feeling on the financial ropes looks for ways to lighten the load. All too often, that means reductions in force, or simply put, layoffs. The people aren’t casualties are those who bring real value to the enterprise. Smart employees brand themselves by making it clear to the leadership that they understand the harsh realities of business and aren’t afraid. They demonstrate that by identifying problems and fixing them, by seeing opportunities and seizing them, and by being a strong voice that motivates positive action. If you’re a whiner and naysayer, you’re toast! If you’re a “I’m with you no matter what,” can-doer, you’re golden. – Dawn Lennon, ConsultBigPicture.com

Be mindful of who you need to be influencing. In many cases, it may not be just your immediate boss or even people in the same office or country. Be very clear about who makes the decisions about your role and department and that they are aware of the contribution you are making. – Paul Copcutt, SquarePegSolution.com

Find an internal champion who can speak knowledgeably about your contributions. A mentor is the best person to serve in this capacity. If you have a mentor who is well placed in the organization, this person is in an excellent position to speak up for you. Very often employees are let go because upper management does not know that they are very valuable. Having an internal champion to speak for you can go a long way in terms of persuading management that you are too valuable to lose. Some organizations have formal mentoring programs in place. If your organization does have such a program, make sure that you take advantage of it. If they don’t look around to see who might fill this role for you. – Cheryl Palmer, CallToCareer.com

Go the extra mile in your role. While you’re building your external brand, you also need to build your brand within your company. If everyone knows you, and knows that you add value to your team through contributions, industry knowledge and industry research, you’ll become more difficult to get rid of. – Erik Vermeulen, ErikVermeulen.com

Go above and beyond your role by getting involved. The more involved and active you can become in the company, the more entrenched and indispensable you become.  This could be joining a cross-functional committee, writing for the company blog, sharing/contributing ideas, expertise or opportunities to other functions and teams within the organization, offering to start, lead or coordinate company-wide initiatives and more.  This will showcase your value and talents, but also your loyalty and commitment to the company’s long-term success. And who wouldn’t want someone with those assets on the team? – Chris Perry, CareerRocketeer.com

Become the Subject Matter Expert (SME) in your area of expertise! When you are the SME for your area, it is very difficult for a company to let you go unless you are an extremely difficult person to work with, or the company completely changes direction whereby eliminating your functional expertise. However, in addition to becoming a SME in just your area, having a strong foundation of understanding about the overall business of your company and picking your spots strategically for where you add sound judgment and advice in a respectful, thoughtful and positive manner, could also help you stave off being let go involuntarily. – David Kimmelman, GetTheJob.com

Cross-train so that you can backfill a position, if necessary.  In an era of cutbacks, you make yourself more valuable if you are flexible and can do more than one job. If your company does not formally cross train its employees, volunteer to be cross trained. – Cheryl Palmer, CallToCareer.com

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this wealth of personal branding insight!

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