The 6 Ways To Secure Your Future

Got Job Security? Yes, this is a play on words from the well known “Got Milk?” marketing campaign. Are you feeling particularly nervous about the company you work for and your economic future? This week’s podcast is a recording of the presentation that Launi Skinner, President of 1-800-GOT-JUNK and former President of Starbucks, gave at The 2008 Canadian Career Summit. Launi shared her thoughts on how to have a great career and control your future at the same time.

Great brands such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK and Starbucks have developed a recipe that they use to achieve extraordinary success, continual growth and a predictable future. Launi shared the formula that enabled her to go from leading a small organization to the role that she currently has, as the world leader in junk removal. What is your career formula? If you do have a formula, as our friend Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” In my conversation with Launi, she shares the advice she has given the thousands of other employees that she has led and that she has used personally in her extraordinary career.

Surround yourself with mentors – You need to actively seek out people to build personal and professional relationships. A majority of the opportunities in your career will come through a network that has a personal and vested interest in you.

Launi’s advice: “Be selfish – look for people who care about you, who have similar values and who live a meaningful life.”

Action – Often your current or former boss is a great place to start – grab coffee with this person in the next 30 days and ask for their input.

Put People First – Servant leadership is one of Launi’s key principles. People follow those that are genuinely interested in helping others. Remember, leadership is about them – not you.

Launi’s advice: “People respond to leadership that is available, genuine, vulnerable, knowledgeable and authentic.”

Action – Everyone is a leader. Look for a leadership development course or program to help develop your potential.

Be more interested than interesting – When you are meeting with people in your organization, resist the desire to make the discussion about you. Make it about them. People want to talk about themselves and what they are doing. Curiosity may have killed the cat; however, it still has 8 lives left.

Launi’s advice: “You become more interested than interesting when you listen, ask questions and learn.”

Action – Tomorrow ask lots of questions wherever you go.

Love what you do – Focus on the type of work and people that will align with your values. You will be a better fit, have more success and you will find your role far more rewarding. Launi’s advice: “Make career decisions based on what you like to do and where you will learn and grow the most.”

Action – In your next interview, ask to meet with others in the organization. It is a great way to get an overall perspective on what is happening.

5. Take Risks – Even though this may seem like a paradox with all of the current economic turmoil. You have to know and respect the different levels of risk tolerance that you are willing to incur in your career. The paradox is that there is much more security found in taking smart risks than in playing it safe.

Launi’s advice: “Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone.”

Action – What smart career risk can you take this coming week? Could you phone a potential employer and meet for an informational session?

Develop Positive Affirmations – There is a lot of negativity in the market and in the media. Try looking at the world through a lens that is focused on where the options are and the potential you have to participate in areas of growth.

Launi’s advice: “Do you see it and then believe it or do you believe it and then see it? Well, you do both.”

Action – Try not listening to the news for one week. You will be amazed at how little you will miss and how much more positive you may become. These six ideas are not new. Like any formula, the key elements are quite simple. The complexity and the challenge are in applying them to your own situation. If you wish for things to change, you need to change. Do you need professional support in your job search? The 90-Day Career Search Program can help you get hired in a better role sooner. Looking to develop as a leader? The Leadership Identity Program can help you. Book an initial consultation with me. Don’t wait for your future to arrive – get started today towards a better future.

Got security, along the road with you! Alan