Most people remember their first car, and their first proper job.
How could you not? They help define you!
You could argue your first car helps express your ‘cool’ side, while your first job points to your ambitious side.
The government recently announced it helped create an extra 300,000 new jobs last financial year when it delivered the Final Budget Outcome – the last say on last financial year’s federal budget.
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Those extra jobs helped put the budget back into balance.
It also highlights how many Australians have found work over the past 12 months – some for the first time!
However, another statistic is worth highlighting. The Bureau of Statistics recently announced Australia’s underemployment rate. It increased in August to 8.6 per cent.
So, for mind, it raises a critical question: are we all happy with these hundreds of thousands of new jobs?
Or are we all secretly eyeing other jobs we’d rather be in, or getting increasingly frustrated in our current role?
Let’s dig a little deeper.
Are you in the right job?
I know this sounds like a really basic issue, but I can’t tell you how many people say to me, ‘I wish I was doing blah’, or ‘I would have made a better blah’.
The problem with our education system is that there’s pressure on students to decide what they want to do with their careers by the time they finish school.
Year 10 work experience, in most states and territories, is supposed to help. Often though it just helps to rule out one or two professions.
For a lucky few, they’ll know what they want to do from a very early age. For others, it takes a bit of trial and error.
Here are some really simple questions to ask yourself: what excites you? What floats your boat?
That’s where you should begin – for the simple reasons that we spend most of our waking hours at work, and most importantly, you’re more likely to succeed at something you’re passionate about.
I understand that for some people just landing a job is the priority, so you can put food on the table, but I suspect too many Australians are just fearful of throwing caution to the wind and chasing their dreams.
And if you can’t “follow your dreams”…?
Job security also important
Here’s a harsh reality: it’s no longer ridiculous to talk openly about the possibility of an Australian recession. It’s still not likely, but the risks are rising.
Given that, there are two camps of people during a recession: those who have a job, and those who don’t.
If you do, life can actually improve for you: the cost of living comes down, and assuming you don’t need to sell your house, or retire, your household budget might be easier to balance.
If you don’t, life becomes extremely challenging. Landing a job that’s dependent on an upswing in the economy cycle is next to impossible… and you sink further into debt.
That’s why, now, finding the most secure work you can, is the best strategy.
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Finding job security
There are a couple of ways to help sure-up your employment.
Firstly, go ask your boss for a permanent, on-going role. Let’s be real, if you’ve been in your current role for 6 to 12 months without a break, your organisation obvious values your contribution.
Yes, of course, some roles are by their nature temporary. However, many roles also evolve over time, and you can roll with it.
After 6 months of being employed within an organisation, you’ll have a good handle on how the place works, and how you fit onto its culture. That’s valuable to any employer.
Secondly, ask your boss what you need to do in order to secure a promotion. There will be a natural step-up from the position you’re in. So, ask your boss, if you’re interest of course, what you need to do in order to be considered for more responsibility.
It’ll show your employer you’re committed to the organisation, you’re ambitious, and, if you’re boss agrees to work with you on this, he or she will start investing in you – that’s the opposite to redundancy.
Move beyond secure employment
While hundreds of thousands of jobs are being created, and folks are looking for more work, wage growth remains stubbornly low.
In addition to landing the right job, and holding onto it, it’s also vital you know how to ask for more pay.
I’m just going to throw one thing out there on this: know your boss. That’s the key to landing a pay rise. What’s your boss like? Is your employer results-driven, numbers-focused, or just logical? The more you know your boss, the easier it will be to craft a case for a pay rise.
You want to make yourself recession-proof.
It means gaining secure employment, developing a good working relationship with your boss, and getting stuck into your work… and the best way to achieve all that is to genuinely love what you do. Don’t laugh. It’s entirely possible.
Disclaimer: this advice is general in nature only.
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