Employment Security in an Insecure World
- Thursday, February 26, 2009
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
What is the difference between job security and employment security? It has to do with who has the power. Job security is external; the power lies with the employer. The boss, or company, decides whether or not you will continue to have a job. In contrast, employment security is internal; it resides within you.
Develop Your Personal Brand
A key to developing employment security is knowing your value to a current, or prospective, employer (or client). The things that make you special are the components of your “personal brand.” For example, what do you do well? What are your most marketable skills, and how can you “prove” them? What knowledge or experience do you have that are assets in the job market? What personality and character traits do you have that distinguish you? Take a moment right now to jot down at least five things that make you valuable to an employer or client.
Management expert Tom Peters is credited with coining the term personal brand in his 1997 article, “The Brand Called You.” In that article, he stressed the importance of knowing what makes you different from others:
Start right now: as of this moment you're going to think of yourself differently!... You don't "belong to" any company for life, and your chief affiliation isn't to any particular "function." You're not defined by your job title and you're not confined by your job description. Starting today you are a brand….[A]sk yourself…: What is it that my product or service does that makes it different?
Many people need some help identifying their personal brand, especially if they find it difficult to see their strengths objectively. Often what we do best comes most naturally to us, and we may therefore take it for granted, thinking, “That’s not so special. I bet most people can do this.” Get some outside feedback from work associates, friends, or a professional career counselor to help you identify what makes you valuable to others.
Seek to Serve
Knowing and being able to communicate your God-given strengths to others is a core element of employment security. Whether you are in a job interview, performance review, or marketing your services, you will serve the employer or client best when you portray an accurate picture of what you can do for them. Most people downplay their skills and abilities (sometimes because of a false understanding of humility), and therefore miss having the opportunity to use their skills to meet another’s needs. God has given you gifts to serve others. To serve employers or clients fully, however, you need to know what your strengths are and be able to convey effectively how you could use your skills and abilities to meet their needs.
Published March 2, 2009
Kevin Brennfleck and Kay Marie Brennfleck are the authors of Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life. They are National Certified Career Counselors and recognized experts in helping people identify their giftedness and find their purpose in life. Their websites, www.ChristianCareerCenter.com, www.ChristianJobFair.com and www.ChurchJobsOnline.com, feature hundreds of job listings from churches, ministries, and Christian employers; a resume bank; and, career and job search articles. If you are interested in career coaching and testing to discover work that fits your God-given design; or would like assistance with writing a powerful resume, interviewing effectively, finding job openings, or other aspects of a successful job search, you can schedule a free consultation session today.
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