The recession may officially be over, but the economy is still fragile. Regardless of experience or education, no one's job is 100 percent safe.
While you may not have complete control over your financial destiny, there are things you can do right now that may help you keep your job when hard times come later on.
1. Be consistent
If you show up to work at the same time every day, complete all your projects by the deadline and treat other co-workers with respect, people will notice. More importantly, they will come to trust you. Even if you work from home, being available at the same times every day can go a long way in upping your status as a valuable employee.
Of course, there will be days, or even weeks, when family matters will impede on your ability to be consistent such as family matters or health issues. Most employers are understanding when these situations arise, especially if you've already proven that you are a consistent employee. Do your best whatever your situation.
2. Work hard
You don't need to be a workaholic to prove that you're a hard worker. Most employers won't come down on you for taking a couple short breaks throughout the day, either. However, you were hired to do a job, and your tenure will depend largely on your good work ethic. Learn as much as you can about your company and industry and try your hand at projects outside your area of expertise. Don't be afraid to voice your opinions when appropriate, and always be on the lookout for new challenges to tackle.
3. Take time off
No matter how much you love your job, you'll eventually burn yourself out if you don't take a break every now and then. Studies have shown that companies are actually more productive when employees use their allotted vacation and personal time. Even if you can't afford to take your family to Disneyworld or go on a cruise, a staycation may be all you need to relax and rejuvenate. A simple weekend without checking email or answering the phone can also do the trick.
4. Be confident, but teachable
Just like no one wants an employee that can't accomplish the simplest of tasks without asking a thousand questions, no one wants an employee that thinks he knows everything, either. Achieving a balance between the two is crucial. Employers want employees that can work independently but who are also humble enough to take good advice into consideration.
There will be times when work has to come before baseball games, band concerts and birthday parties simply because someone has to earn money to provide the necessities of life. However, by establishing yourself as a hardworking and trustworthy employee, you are much more likely to succeed as an employee while still having the flexibility you need to be there for your family.