The five secrets to keeping the job you love, or indeed, any job.
Much job advice focuses on finding our career bliss. Namely, unearthing that one-and-only wondrous job that uses our innate gifts, develops our strengths, causes us to leap out of bed every morning with a cry of delight, and — of course — pays a bunch, too.
Far less career advice addresses this very basic matter: how to keep your job.
You might think that if you have a job you love and are great at, it naturally follows that said job will be yours for as long as you need or want it.
Unfortunately, this is not true. Counterintuitive as it sounds, keeping a job involves more than just being great at that job.
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First, you need to be great at how you do that job.
Second, you need to also fit in well with your team, because every job involves other people in some manner.
And third, you need to fit in with that team in a way that makes it better, happier and more effective because you are a part of it.
Fortunately, these are goals everyone can attain — even quiet, introverted types who might not feel they are very social, even mad scientist types who tend toward disorganization and chaos. All you need to do is cultivate, and display, these five qualities:
Composure. Basically, this just means that when others freak out, you do not join them. Instead, you are the one who remains calm and seeks out solutions.
Thoroughness. If you take the trouble to consistently carry tasks all the way through to their logical conclusions, to be the one who “closes the loop,” you will be unusual indeed.
Diligence. You take the time to be careful; you make the effort to be accurate. (Another rare quality.)
Astuteness. You come equipped with a Plan B. You anticipate that things can go wrong, and you are ready.
Graciousness. Treating everyone the same — i.e., kindly and with respect — should not be so hard to do, but we’ve all experienced someone who’s snubbed or ignored us just because we weren’t “important enough.” Don’t be that someone.
Do all this — heck, do even some of it — and you’ll be a star. A true star who will always, always, have a job.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.