It's not always easy to feel secure in your career, especially if your industry is constantly changing. Whether you're already working for a company or actively searching for a job, feeling apprehensive about your professional future can affect your performance and drive.
Instability is a concern for many workers, but there are ways to work through it. The first step is to create job stability for yourself. Based on advice from career experts and business leaders, here's how to do it.
1. Choose the job you love.
When you're doing something you enjoy each day, you'll feel more inspired and confident. You need to choose not only an industry that suits your interests, but also a company that aligns with your values and desires as a worker.
"If you are part of a company that values your insight and opinions – a place where you feel comfortable to collaborate and share – you will have confidence to be a part of the change, and not afraid of the changes that are occurring around you," said Amanda Beers, vice president of learning and development for The Learning Experience.
Remember that you do not need to stick with the same company forever. When you have the experience and incentive to move on to a better fit, don't hold yourself back out of fear.
"There is no such thing as professional loyalty any longer," said Alex Wojcik, Midwest sales representative at Epic Brewing Company. "In especially fast-moving industries, be prepared to go with that flow. You may feel you are damaging yourself by making job changes, but truthfully, it's all positioning. No one cares how long you worked in one place, especially when they need you to get the job done urgently. Diversify your skill set, and you will fit into more places than you could have imagined."
2. Make yourself more profitable.
If you want to feel stable in your career, you need to make yourself an asset in your industry. Lisa Rangel, president and CEO of Chameleon Resumes, advised creating a demand for the work you do.
"Factually document your wins, and share these wins in the right venues to remind your employer and their competitors that you rock and are at the top of your game," she said.
Additionally, Wojcik recommended attending seminars, getting to know competitors, and understanding the ins and outs of the company you work for.
It's also important to continue investing in yourself and your potential, said Beers.
"Take the time to learn what skills you can continue to develop and spend time investing in those," she said. "Whether it is additional credentials and certifications or seeking out a mentor, take the opportunity to invest in your growth and development."
3. Be active on social media platforms.
Regardless of whether you're actively searching for a job or not, you should maintain a professional online presence on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.
"The days of updating [just] your resume have become part of the past," said Beers. "Today, we can not only see what skills you have but who has endorsed those, who you are connected with and what sparks your interest."
Not only should you be active on your own profiles, you should also be researching potential companies for a glimpse at their culture.
"Through platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can see authentic pictures, posts and responses for a glimpse into how the company can benefit you and your needs," said Beers.
4. Expand your professional network.
Knowing people in your industry – or even in other industries – will help you when searching for job opportunities, which is why it's so important to network.
"Marketing yourself is no different from marketing a product or service," said Rangel. "Work with a coach to craft your message that will organically grow your professional network."
Beers recommended attending social events, philanthropic activities, networking groups, professional development days and more to meet and engage with people in your industry.
"If you see collaboration happening, offer your insight and suggestions, and actively participate in activities and meetings," she said. "Get to know all the people who make up your organization, because people outside your department can be a mentor too."
Above all, she advised to always be yourself.
"The more you shine, the larger your network will grow," said Beers.