The Key to Your Security
Jeff Keller


There's a lot of talk these days about the lack of security in the workplace, especially in corporate America.  Events such as downsizing, re-structuring, mergers and acquisitions have many workers wondering whether the job they have today will be there tomorrow.  This uncertainty has, in some places, resulted in a loss of morale and an unwillingness for some employees to give their best.  After all, they think, "If I could be gone soon or have my job radically changed, why give 100% to this organization?"

But, while it's true that the days of working for a company for 30 years, getting a gold watch and a secure retirement package are long gone, the person who suffers most when you don't give your best is YOU!

Why?  To begin with, excellence is a habit that cannot be turned on and off like a faucet.  We are creatures of habit and either we have a commitment to do the best job we can. . . or we condition ourselves to put forth less than our best efforts.  Whichever approach we take, it will not be easy to change.  Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can withhold your talents and enthusiasm today, then give your all tomorrow.

To illustrate, consider one of your daily habits - how neat you keep your bedroom.  If you're the type that throws shirts and pants on top of a chair (or on the floor), how difficult would it be for you to change that habit and fold all of your clothes and neatly put them away in a closet or drawer?

I'll bet that you'd find the new pattern almost impossible to follow. Within a day or two, you'd probably take your socks and throw them on the chair, just as you did before!  The same is true of the way you approach your work.  You either make the commitment to do an excellent job, or you develop a pattern of doing just enough to get by.

That's why, if you're looking for security in a job, you're looking in the wrong place.  There is no security in any job.  The security lies within you.  The key to developing your security is by becoming excellent at what you do, and by continuing to improve your skills.  Add to that a very positive attitude and an ability to work well with others. . . and, voila, you have job security!

Now, I didn't say that you are guaranteed to work for the same company for the rest of your life, or even that you will remain in your current position.  But, by always giving your very best, you'll assure yourself of having a decisive edge in any future situation.  Think about it.  If your company was acquired by another, which employees would have the best chance of sticking around - those who enthusiastically gave their best, or those who dragged their feet, complained, and had little interest in learning new skills?

And, even if the excellent performer does not get a position in the new company, that person, because of his or her commitment to excellence and positive attitude is going to have an advantage in the marketplace when securing a new position.

When you put forth 100% effort, people notice.  You may not be rewarded immediately but you are building a reputation that will serve you well in your current organization, and in any other place you may work In the future.

The bottom line is this:  giving less than your best effort in your current position can only hurt you.

So, if you want to obtain real security, ask yourself these questions:  Do I enthusiastically give my very best at work every day?  Do I cooperate with others and support their efforts?  Do I maintain a positive attitude?  Am I learning to be better at what I do and am I developing the skills that will be important in my field in the future?

Answer these questions and re-evaluate yourself on a regular basis.  When you can finally reply with a resounding, "YES!," you'll have the type of job security that no one can ever take away from you.

Jeff Keller works with organizations that want to develop achievers and with managers who want their people to be more positive.  Visit his site at


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
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