In today’s unstable economic climate, virtually everyone should “fireproof” their job, making themselves and their job-related functions as essential and valuable as possible. To do anything less is presumptuous at best, and foolish or suicidal at worst. Put another way, all of us who work in today’s marketplace should attempt to create for ourselves a scenario wherein if worse came to worst, we would be the last ones to go out the door if the enterprise shut down.
So how do we do so? How do we begin to “fireproof” our job? What now follows is a brief synopsis of a lecture I have given recently in a number of places. It is based upon three simple presuppositions: 1) God really does want all of His children gainfully employed where their callings and gifts bring value to others. 2) God wants to expand His Kingdom and its citizens through us at work and, 3) Effective and specific prayer both changes us and creates opportunities and results where it is applied in faith.
Step Number One: Upgrade Your Attitudes
1. Bring faith to work with you. All of us create an “atmosphere” wherever we go. What do you bring to work? Is it optimism, energy, and a problem-solving outlook, or comments about how much you wish the weekends were longer and the workdays shorter?
2. Become an encourager at work and drop out of the complainers club who use sarcasm and ill humor to pass the day or reinforce the whiners at work.
3. Edify your colleagues and the authority figures around you. If you’re truly working “as unto the Lord,” He will keep you securely where He has planted you. If you are not, why would you expect Him to keep you there? Remember, God fully knows the condition of your heart, attitudes, and values you bring to work, even if your boss may not. He is ultimately the One you must please.
Step Number Two: Revamp Your Work Ethic
1. Aspire (pray) to go to new levels of productivity and efficiency. No employer in his/her right mind will quickly release anyone who seriously cares and walks out such an attitude and commitment.
2. Become personally concerned and committed to the success of your company’s products and services. Pray for new contracts, customers, workplace effectiveness, and profit margins.
3. Go the “extra mile” in terms of effort, excellence, ad availability to serve and work above and beyond “what is expected of you” or simply your job description.
Step Number Three: Elevate Your Skill Sets
1. Go to your superiors and ask them what kind of training, study materials, or counsel they may give you on how to upgrade your skill sets and make you more valuable to the company. Whatever they suggest, endeavor to do it. If nothing else, if you are sincere and they know it, you just moved yourself much higher on their “fireproof” list of company layoff employees.
2. Ask those who are successful in their jobs where they went for insight, and tips as to how they achieved their success. The desire to upgrade is the “substance” of true faith (Heb. 11:1-2) and gives evidence of God’s energy in their lives.
3. Seek ways to help upgrade the skill sets of those around you. Anyone who helps others become more successful catches both God’s and others’ attention.
Step Number Four: Recalibrate Your Relational Skills
1. Work efficiencies are the result of workable team building and the relational health of the organization. Both God and man promote team players and relational bridge builders. Ask God and those who may give you counsel or input to help you see how to go to the next level relationally.
2. Seek to remove from yourself negative hindrances to your personal relational I.Q. Become a better listener. Stop gossiping or trashing others in any way. Communicate your concern to others wisely when they seek to use your ears as a garbage can at work.
3. Ask God to help you become an effective problem-solver.
The list goes on, and you may be interested in getting a CD of the teaching. In any event, if you’ve read this article, you can’t say you don’t have “any idea how to secure your job.” Stop thinking like a “victim;” they are the ones who almost always get fired first, and that really is….the bottom line.