If your employer is like many others these days, it is constantly on the lookout for some new benefit that will help its employees feel the love.
So, the next time the HR Department conducts a survey and asks what new benefit you would most like to have, tell them a curriculum in career self-management. It’s the benefit that keeps on giving.
Traditional benefits – especially health insurance – remain important, of course, but they do little to differentiate one employer from another. Why is differentiation important? Because talent retention is now critical to business success, and distinctive benefits have a measurable impact on a worker’s decision to stay or go.
Unless you’re the CEO, your salary increases are barely staying ahead of inflation, so benefits are an important additional way for you to be compensated. While free meals at work and on-site day care are helpful, however, they have a short term impact on your wellbeing. Eventually, there are no more novel ways to serve mac and cheese and the kids grow up.
So, what should you ask for? The most revered benefit – job security – has now joined the rotary phone as a quaint artifact of another time. But, security does still exist; it’s just taken on a new form. Today, you can achieve “career security” – the ability always to be employed and always by an employer of your choice.
Even better, career security isn’t actually a benefit. It isn’t provided by your employer and therefore only available when the economy is strong and the organization is doing well. No, career security is something you give yourself, and it’s accessible whether the economy or your employer is up or down.
But here’s the rub. Career security doesn’t happen by wishful thinking or with a sprinkling of pixie dust. You must create it. And the only way to create it is to be fully educated in the body of knowledge and set of skills that enable to manage your own career effectively.
To read more of this column,” click http://weddles.com/primer/issue.cfm?Newsletter=65 to reach the latest edition of my Newsletter for Career Activists.