Job Security Doesn't Exist: 5 Ways To Thrive Anyway

job security temporary worker

By Heather Huhman

In today's world, everyone is a temporary worker.

Even if you're an executive at a well-established company, your job could be temporary. Working for yourself? There's no telling how long your business might last.

Particularly in a down economy and a tight job market, it's important to keep this in mind. Companies downsize. People get fired or laid off. The market changes. And while you might find another job in your field, your career is likely less stable than the careers your grandparents had years ago.You may be tempted to get comfortable in your job because it doesn't seem threatened at the moment. But as recent news goes to show, the multitude of jobs that seemed like they would be around forever are disappearing. Several cases in point: Bank of America laying off 30,000 workers, Borders bookstore closing, and even the U.S. Postal Service closing offices across the country.

How can you prepare for these inevitable changes in your career? Here are a few ways to safeguard your income:

1. Create a strong personal brand.
Although your current job and career play a part in your professional brand, your personal brand is something that stays with you throughout your entire career, no matter where you end up working. Get active online, share and create relevant content, and give people a reason to remember – and hire – you.

2. Continually build upon your skills and education.
Stay on top of news and trends within your industry. If your company won't pay for professional development, figure out other ways to make it a priority. Learn new skills by attending webinars, conferences and training sessions, and gain skills that will help you regardless of whether you decide to move up in your current career or transition into a related field.

More:9 Well-Paying Jobs That Don't Require A College Degree

3. Build a professional portfolio.
Keep track of your accomplishments, work pieces, recommendations and referrals in one place. Consider securing your own domain name ( to house your professional portfolio. That way, when it comes time for a new job search, you'll have everything you need all in one place.

4. Have a back-up career.
When I was laid off from my job in public relations a few years ago, I realized the importance of starting my own side business to ensure I always had a job. Now, my back-up career is my full-time one. You never know how things will pan out, and you can no longer count on a company to keep you employed. So think outside the box about how you can grow your own side gig that can serve as a back-up plan. Thanks to the Internet and social networking, it's easier to start your own business than ever before.

5. Maintain your professional network.
Networking is still one of the top ways to land a new job. By keeping in contact with your professional connections, you're more likely to learn about new job opportunities, gain referrals and make additional connections. And if you do lose your job, you'll have a network to turn to for help.

What steps have you taken to set yourself up for success even if your current job disappears?

Heather R. Huhman is founder and president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers.

Fields With The Best Job Security
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Job Security Doesn't Exist: 5 Ways To Thrive Anyway

"Workers in this career field design computer and information systems, develop custom software programs and manage computer facilities. They also may perform various other functions, such as software installation and disaster recovery. They generally work on a contract basis. They may assist an organization with a particular project or program, such as setting up a secure website or establishing a marketplace online, or they may handle ongoing activities, such as management of an onsite date center or help desk."

Software Developers, Systems Software

Annual earnings: $92,130

Percent growth: 57.4

Annual openings: 6,120

"Education is an important part of life. The amount and type of education that individuals receive are a major influence on both the types of jobs they are able to hold and their earnings. Lifelong learning is important in acquiring new knowledge and upgrading one's skills, particularly in this age of rapid technological and economic changes. The Educational Services field includes a variety of institutions that offer academic education, career and technical instruction, and other education and training to millions of students each year."

Administrative Services Managers

Annual earnings: $74,970

Percent growth: 19.3

Annual openings: 3,430

"The federal government's essential duties include defending the United States from foreign aggression, representing U.S. interests abroad, creating and enforcing national laws and regulations, and administering domestic programs and agencies. State and local governments provide their constituents with vital services that may not be available otherwise, such as transportation, public safety, health care, education, utilities and courts. Many of these governmental services cannot easily be privatized and are needed no matter how the economy fluctuates."

Social Scientists and Related Workers

Annual earnings: $76,120

Percent growth: 19.3

Annual openings: 860

"Combining medical technology and the human touch, the Health Care field diagnoses, treats and administers care around the clock, responding to the needs of millions of people-from newborns to the terminally ill. Because it meets a lifelong need and the demand for health care is increasing rapidly, this is one of the most secure career fields."

Physicians and Surgeons

Annual earnings: $153,970

Percent growth: 26

Annual openings: 29,480

"It's a fact of life that machines and electronic equipment sometimes break down and need to be restored to working order. Routine maintenance services, such as changing the oil in your automobile, often can prevent breakdowns and keep equipment running efficiently. This work provides the livelihood for workers in the Repair and Maintenance field."

Industrial Machinery Mechanics

Annual earnings: $40,140

Percent growth: 19.1

Annual openings: 650

"The Utilities field includes companies that generate, transmit and distribute electrical power; distribute natural gas; treat and distribute fresh water; and treat wastewater.... The Utilities field is unique in that urban areas with many inhabitants generally have relatively few utility companies. Also unlike most industries, the Utilities field imports and exports only a small portion of its product. Because of the essential nature of the product and the relative lack of competition, this field has more security than most."

Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, Substation, and Relay

Annual earnings: $66,270

Percent growth: 10.3

Annual openings: 410


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