Understanding the difference between advancing your career versus maintaining a job is essential for professional sustainability in any organization.
I grew up in an era where the proverbial speech was "go to school, get good grades, and you'll be rewarded with a good job." Now trust me, as a working mother the speech remains the same -- but, with a little twist.
In today's age, the speech sounds more like, "...go to school, get good grades, and strive for career security." Of course, when I landed my first real job, I was excited. I gained a sense of independence, responsibility, and financial stability.
However, different than in our parent's day in age, in today's society, maintaining a job is just not enough. Studies show people shift jobs more frequently than in the past because the concept of "job security" has diminished. The idea of "going to work, completing all assigned tasks, never calling in sick and you'll be rewarded" is a thing of the past.
Today, it is important to strive for career security which ultimately will yield professional sustainability.
I recently tuned into the 12 Unbreakable Laws to Professional Success by Deidre Dutcher which nudged me to re-evaluate my own career and professional sustainability. Now, for those of us who are at different stages in the career ladder, there is nothing wrong with re-evaluating where we are in order to keep climbing.
So I "leaned back" and realized it is important to not be seen as "just an employee," but viewed as a contributing asset to the organization. As a result, I began to goal-set and think of ways to stand out as a contributing asset in order to increase career security.
I realized the two areas I could professionally enhance to increase career security were to become a problem solver and create greatness to get recognized.
To be a problem solver continuous learning is required. You never know when you may be called upon to solve or tackle a new project. Therefore, it is essential to continuously enhance your current skill-set as well as acquire new talents that will support your organization. Keep in mind you are not only adding value to the organization with acquiring new skills, you are also increasing your own professional tool kit.
Creating greatness to get recognized is another realization I embraced to enhance career security. As professional women, we all want to be viewed in the workplace for the "great" things we contribute. Remember, most importantly is presenting a "great attitude" in the workplace. Maintaining a great attitude toward your work and colleagues, contributes to your overall greatness resulting in recognition of your competence and efforts.
So, I say all this to say, as professional women we have to set goals, assess where we want to be professionally, and strive for career security. It is important to be viewed as an asset to any organization and be known for adding value as opposed to "being just an employee." Striving for career security starts from within; therefore we have to take control of our careers to climb the leadership ladder.