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Consultants Share How Not to View Job Security: Part One

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As our economy continues to fluctuate, one major concern for Americans is job security. So it’s not surprising that many of us turn to articles published on the Internet for assistance and inspiration on how to keep ourselves up-to-date on current trends and solutions to this common predicament. But what if the advice leads you astray?

AccelaWork came across an article from US News & World Report that provided sixteen tips aimed at helping employees keep their job. To say the very least, the column caught our eye but not because it was eye-opening.  In this three part series, we divide these sixteen tips into three separate categories: The Hits, The Misses and The Nearly There.

worker productivity and job security

© Flickr user wbaiv

Today, we’d like to tackle the tips we feel missed the mark in regards to helpfulness. Not only are they far from inspiring, but they convey a message that does little more than patronize and insult. Below are “the misses” quoted directly from the article, with our own translations:

  • Be the First to Arrive and the Last to Leave

Showing up to work first and leaving last shows your boss that you are dedicated to your job.

Translation: You don’t have to be engaged or productive at work. So long as you’re taking up space and expending your personal time you’ll be safe.

  • Make Everybody Love You

No matter how much you hate your job, always show up with a smile on your face.

Translation: Don’t attempt to rectify unsettling factors at work that leave you unhappy. Dissatisfaction in a job is just a part of life.

  • Take on Responsibilities that No One Else Wants to Do

Bite the bullet and offer to take on the task that no one wants to do. Your boss (and coworkers) will love you for it.

Translation: Being empowered enough to admit that’s not my job is far from useful in the large scheme of things.

  • Don’t Abuse Internet Privileges

It is very easy for companies to track what you do on your computer while in the office, especially online activities. Stay off of Facebook, don’t check your personal emails, don’t surf the web, and don’t use your company email address to send personal emails.

Translation: You cannot trust yourself to define what is and what is not considered proper use of your time in the office.

  • Be the Social Chair

Who would want to fire the life of the party?

Translation: Popularity trumps capability.

Whether or not you read the descriptions beneath each tip doesn’t really matter. The bullet points are clear enough to interpret. In our view, they do nothing more than magnify the looming doubt and anxiety that already exists in stakeholders who fear for their jobs. To us, the overall theme is hard to deny:

Despite how hard you work, the dedication you have, the expertise you hold or the results you produce, the only viable way to prove true value is by partaking in unnecessary actions that distract from workflow, stall productivity and force you to embrace activity that is perhaps outside your comfort zone.

Bottom line: When keeping a job weighs heavier than actually doing your job, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate. After all, what value is generated when the actions taken to prove it compromise the quality and level of work you perform?

Stay tuned for our views on the usefulness of tips that are “Nearly There”.

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