Powerful topics to ponder.

“What is job stability to you?”

Pam Eley Morrell is a Freelance Writer & Assisted Living Consultant. She is an Alabama native who resides in North Carolina with her husband Rick. Both are avid Alabama football fans.

Most everyone desires job stability, and there are several ways to achieve this type of steadiness. Job stability requires a good foundation that encompasses more than having a good job. In order to develop job stability, one of the first building blocks is life stability.

Uncomfortable occurrences happen in life, but overcoming those events enables us to mature to another level. What might be upsetting now, may not be bothersome in the future. However, there are some life events that can be devastating. If you are in a marriage or in a life partnership, be aware that instability in a relationship can spill over into your job; affecting your overall job performance.  If this happens to you; you will need a plan to get you through those trying life interruptions. Many turn to their faith in God by praying and reading Bible scriptures that relate to their situation. Others turn to friends or professional counselors to help them through their struggles.  More than likely, there will be times you may need to reach out to others for help, and in turn, others will be able to reach out to you. They know you have a testimony of how you regained your life stability.


“Don’t think for a minute that those without a college degree have a totally different mindset than those with degrees.”


What is job stability to you? I asked this question of many working and retired individuals. Their answers were sometimes surprising.

Bill; who is now retired, defined his job stability as finding a job after high school and staying in that same job for thirty years. While in school, Bill learned a useful trade which enabled him to have that permanency for all those years. Hopefully, schools will continue to teach such useful trades. You don’t necessarily need a college degree to have job stability.

Although Bill remained in the same stable job until retirement, I wonder what would have happened to him had the company closed or if his job terminated. This is a reality for some in today’s job market. Maybe Bill could have taken courses online or at a campus to make himself more valuable in the workforce. The point being, we all should consider learning new skills as part of job stability. The more skills we have, the more valuable we are to others.

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A close friend I’ll call Mandy, has been working twenty-three years for a pharmaceutical company that fills prescriptions for skilled care and assisted living facilities. All she has ever done is data entry. Now she is faced with the fact that her location has only one contracted facility. Most of her days are spent entering data for another location in another state. When I asked her what she was going to do if her location closed, she said, “I don’t know.” I then asked if she thought of taking classes to make her more marketable in another field of work; “Not really,” was her response.

It’s very sad that someone would wait for a company to close before preparing for another job. Like Bill and Mandy, both would be confined to finding similar jobs to the one they had. Not having developed new skills is more frightening than thinking that a job could come to end; a bit of an oxymoron. Additional skills equip a person with the ability for growth potential, new experiences, and possibly peace of mind.  


“Preparing to find another job requires as much dedication as keeping a job.”


Don’t think for a minute that those without a college degree have a totally different mindset than those with degrees.  A company may require a degree for a position, however, their requirement may not be for a specific degree (unless a specialty). For years Trish, a professional acquaintance, processed contracts for her company. She didn’t compose the contracts, she just had to make sure that all documents were in place and the proper signatures were on the correct line.  Trish loved her job because she was well paid; although a high school graduate could have easily performed her job. But the day came when her job, according to management, was no longer necessary.

Where did that leave Trish? Jobless with no other skills? Could she find another job similar to the job she had done for years? Maybe, but more likely no. So, what did Trish do all those years while she was employed? Did she expand her skills? Did she believe she had a lifetime job? Was Trish so happy with her job that she did nothing to prepare herself for a different career? Trish was unable to find a similar job, however took a job that paid less. Such a disappointment.


“When do you begin a job search?”


Mark was a career driven individual. He gave 100% to his employer, committed himself to closing all his contracts and never colored outside the lines. He pushed himself to do everything the company asked of him; renewing his commitment daily. He believed he had job stability. But does job stability equate to job satisfaction? Happiness outside the job?  Or is your job stability somewhat of a burden; stripping you of a clear mind with a positive life direction?

Mark loved his family and wanted the very best for them. His children went to the best of schools, took fun filled family vacations and his wife was able to care for the family while developing her skills and becoming an entrepreneur.

What Mark could not understand is why he was passed over for positions that were given to what he believed to be less qualified employees. Those employees did not have the same work ethics and did not seem to be operating at their full capacity. 


“Be the type of person you would hire.”


There are many reasons why Mark is stuck, but believes he has job stability. He obviously has the stability, because the company wants to keep him in his job because he generates profits for the company through his 100% commitment. (I think his dedication stabilizes the company). Management may think he will never leave because of a lucrative salary that allows him to provide for his family.

Will he ever be promoted? That would be difficult to determine, but waiting for a promotion to happen would not be the wisest choice. Maybe it is time for Mark to do some lateral thinking. 

1.  Define the problem. Is the company the problem or is it Mark’s perception of the company?

2.  Is Mark the problem; not that he doesn’t do an exceptional job, but is his disappointment with the company holding him back from his greatest potential?

3.  Once the problem is defined, look at the problem differently. The problem could have several identifiable as well as unidentifiable moving parts. Mark should discover each component and approach them in a different manner than before. With all his discoveries, he should never approach management with arrogance.

4. If management is not receptive to Mark’s ideas, he has the choice to stay with the company or prepare to find other employment.

“Job search stability requires time, research, creativity, and mentally reaching for challenges that you may think are impossible.”

“Job search stability requires time, research, creativity, and mentally reaching for challenges that you may think are impossible.”

Job search stability requires time, research, creativity, and mentally reaching for challenges that you may think are impossible. When do you began a job search?  Start now and search every day.  Don’t get me wrong; I do not mean to search online at work or apply daily for a job.  Be aware of the potential pitfalls of prospecting a job.

1.  Social media; too many sites to name. Social media has made powerful people fall from grace.  Although what you have posted in the past may not be who you are today; the digital trail is now the new paper trail.

2.  Your social life outside the office needs to be civil. If you are out with friends or business associates do not excessively drink. Do not say or do anything that could create a negative image of you. There are too many mobile phones capable of recording you and too many people happy to post on social media.

3.   Do not be braggadocious. If you are accomplished in an area there is no need to brag. You can present yourself without arrogance. You can guide the conversation to the appropriate moment for you to tell a little about yourself. At this point, the other person most likely will ask you questions about your accomplishments. 

Always, always be on your best behavior. That does not mean that you can’t have fun, but it does mean that if you want to be successful; know when, where, and how to behave.

When you allow the other person to go first through a doorway; you could be walking in behind your new boss. If you tell someone to have a nice day; it could be your future business partner. Be the type of person you would hire.

Never settle for anything…this is a lazy person’s stability. Settling weakens the potential to grow and inhibits one’s abilities.

Stability? We all want it; don’t we?

P.S. Believe that you can be more than you think you are. Be benevolent to others through kindness and understanding. Praise others more than yourself. Be responsive to those who need you.


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