Financial Literacy - Careers
5 ways to fireproof your job

"Companies are always searching for good leaders to motivate others and keep the organization's goals and objectives at the forefront. Companies also recognize individuals who have advanced education or training and are willing to compensate them as such," he says.

In the long run, staying up to date in your field will serve your career well and keep your skills from being eclipsed by the whippersnappers flooding out of college.

Everything has changed at such a rapid pace that workers in technical fields such as health care and information technology quickly find themselves as out of date as a circa 1980s Commodore 64 at a LAN party -- unless they continue their training and education.

"They say now, with technology today, the knowledge that college students have learned in engineering is in obsolescence by the beginning of their sophomore year. So that by the time they graduate, virtually the only thing of value is what they have picked up in the past 18 months," says Riviera Advisors' Dan Kilgore.

Some companies will even pay for the training or send you back to school if it's in your field. Not keeping ahead of the knowledge curve can put you way behind it, and that sends the wrong message to your employer.

Avoid not-my-job syndrome

To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, ask not what your company can do for you, ask what you can do for your company.

Every job comes with some "scut," or menial, work -- even more so if the business is hemorrhaging employees. There's likely the same amount of work but fewer people manning the stations.

No one enjoys it, and most likely everyone has some scut work to do. Instead of griping, just remember that anything you can do to make your boss happy -- and look good -- is a positive.

"Everyone you work with should share your common goal of making the company thrive during these times. Right now, it's not about us as individuals. It's about us as organizations," says's Eric Winegardner.

To survive in today's employment morass, it wouldn't hurt if you bled the company colors and were as pro-organization as any face-painting football fan.

"Be proactive. The company needs to know that you care about them. This isn't about you, the employee. This is about the company," says Scott Kane of Gray Hair Management.

Beyond working as productively as possible to safeguard your job, be positive and genuinely interested in the opinions of your boss and the people you work with -- and get to work.

You really can't do much more than that, except keep up your networking and make sure your resume is up to date -- just in case.


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