It's not news to anyone that job security is a thing of the past. It can start to feel as though employers are holding all the cards, hiring and laying off people at will, with no loyalty involved.
But there's another way to look at the situation. Consider yourself a free agent who can move freely between various opportunities as chances to grow your personal brand present themselves. Here are some quick tips I've summarized from Kathryn Ullrich writing in TechRepublic:
1. Look out for #1: with loyalty an old-fashioned virtue, you have the right to move to a job that works better for you
2. Be strategic: plan where you want to be within a range of time frames and chart how to get there
3. Work in step with your company goals: by aligning your work with the company's strategic objectives, your contributions will be more significant
4. Be customer-centric: not only will attention to your internal and external customers result in better products and services, but you'll be better networked for future career moves
5. Collaborate: again, build your connections while improving innovation and day-to-day work product
6. Hone your communications skills: it may sound overused, but ability to listen and express yourself effectively are core skills to almost all jobs; even individual contributors like coders will be more effective with better communication skills
7. Cross over functionally: more and more companies are looking for people who have a broader functional skillset - and you'll grow your network while you're at it
8. Expand your experience: this will give you value-added skills and a broader network
9. Find a guide: a mentor can be a great guide to planning and implementing your career progression
10. Network - now: optimize your profile on LinkedIn for job search (see previous post) and continually make connections online and off for when you need them or they need you
Here are a few more I think are important:
1. Define your personal brand: your value proposition, attributes, values, and value-adds
2. Project your brand online (see previous post)
3. Keep your eye on where the business and/or company you're in is trending; shape your career in the direction where the jobs are going to be
4. Become a subject matter expert and showcase your knowledge in a blog, on LinkedIn groups, in LI Answers, on Twitter, etc.
5. Go deep in one of the trending areas
6. Choose a function to join with IT, such as finance or sales & marketing - to give you a competitive advantage in a job search
Job search is an Always On feature of life now. Go ahead, you're in the driver's seat of your career.