I hope you’re having a really wonderful 4th of July weekend. Hopefully, you are spending it with loved ones — and have at least three days off of work!
Speaking of work and Independence Day, here are a few tips on how to hang onto your career independence.
- Always be networking – Never take the power of networking for granted. Despite how old you may be or how many contacts you may have, there’s no excuse not to network. Networking is the #1 way job seekers find new jobs.
- Continue to learn – One of the biggest career mistakes people often make is not keeping their skill set up to date. You never know when you may need to move to a new company. In order to be able to do this, keep learning. Always.
- Don’t tell them you’re looking – When you tell your boss you’re looking, you take away your own power. It’s not unheard of for a company to fire an employee because they’ve learned the person is looking for a new job.
- Save – What would happen if you had enough money in an emergency savings account to last you six months or a year? How nice would it be to go in to work every day because you want to, not because you have to?
- Keep fixed expenses low – If you want to retain your independence, one way you can do it is by keeping your fixed expenses at a reasonable level. I’m talking about the amount you may pay for your rent or mortgage, for your car, and any other expense that you are required to pay every single month. If you keep these low, it’s easier to tighten your belt when things get rough.
- Pursue other interests – One of the fastest ways you can get pigeon holed into a particular role is to not pursue anything else. Keep your interests diversified, and you’ll keep your options open.
- Keep your cool – The more you can go with the flow and keep your cool, the more likely you are to be liked at work. And, the more you’re liked, the more control you have over whether or not you’ll be sticking around in the future.
- Follow the rules – Following the rules can ensure your employer doesn’t have a good reason to get rid of you. But, first you’ve got to know the rules. Be sure to review your employee handbook and pay close attention to rules around social media. Following the rules leaves you in control.
- Switch companies from time to time – This can seem counter intuitive, but by finding a new job every three to five years will increase your salary, diversify your network, and will strengthen your skill set. This will give you more choices over time.
Maintaining your career independence will empower you to make the choice of where you work. Even on bad days, you’ll still have hope for the future — because you know you’re in control of your own destiny.
I wish you the very best Independence Day!
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.