Your Job Survival Guide

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Guest post today that builds, to some extent, off Jarhead Survivor’s recent post, Survival Scenario – Job Loss.

Wolverine has been following this site since the beginning. There are a few handful of you, that comment or write to me anyway, that I know go back that far. Wolverine is one. Wolverine posts periodically over at Michigan Preppers Network.



Face it, survival is many things to many people. While we may spend time learning to throw up a debris shelter or navigate by map and compass few of us have ever had to use those skills. Look, before we begin understand that I have the basic mindset that two is one, one is none, I check my storage supplies regularly and keep a weather eye on the news for trigger events. I also know that right now my biggest survival skill in keeping my job.

The economy is poor and people are looking for ways to find a job or stay employed. People with college degrees are “under-employed” and unskilled workers are pounding the pavement looking for anything that will help put beans on the table. Becoming a more valuable employee might make the difference between a paycheck and a pink slip. There are a few ways you can do that without spending your hard earn money to gain extra skills. It will take some time and motivation on your pat, but the rewards just might be your economic survival.

I live inMichiganwhere unemployment is pushing 15% right now. Yes, that means 85% are working, but a lot of those have lowered their wages and standard of living, what is known as under employment.  There are a few things that you can do to help yourself keep your job and become a valuable employee so that you are less likely to be laid off. Survival is a lot easier with a pay check than a pink slip.

Look around where you work and see what they are having outside contract workers do that you might be able to do. I am not suggesting that you pour a new sidewalk or tackle document destruction, but how about things such as training? A lot of places have to hire and bring in instructors to teach everything from ethics to first aid to lock-out/tag-out safety. You become much more valuable to the company if you can teach one or more skills so they do not have to spend their money to get those done.

There are courses you can take free of charge through several organizations that are called Train the Trainer. I am familiar with the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation course. It took two half days to complete. You are shown the steps required to put together training so that the most important information gets covered and the people come away with the knowledge they need. Once you complete the Train the Trainer course you can take other free courses and in turn train others. Safety training is required in many states to help reduce worker’s comp claim fees. Finding good trainers is sometime difficult in companies and they keep them working when they find them.

The rules from the state that dictate mandatory training for a lot of us. First aid and CPR classes must be completed and up to date at all times where I work. We are trained at the jobsite for this, by fellow employees that have become Red Cross instructors. If your place of employment requires such training you may wish to go to the Red Cross and become a certified instructor. You can than offer the classes to your fellow employees. You added a skill that now makes you more valuable to the employer and you add a valuable survival skill too.

Community Emergency Response Training, known as CERT, is a combination of disaster rescue skill sets designed to help people help themselves and their neighbors after an event such as tornado or earthquake. First aid, small fire suppression, cribbing, and building search are but a few of the skills you train in. If you take CERT, it could lead to your appointment to the company safety committee or fire brigade. Besides, CERT training would be a great idea for everyone that is preparedness minded. It is one of the few emergency preparedness courses you will find.

Maybe you are a maintenance or janitorial person. You could take the required courses to get an extermination license and take over that duty. Outside people generally only show up once a month or so as part of their contact. You could respond to calls and complains much sooner and everyone will think you are a hero.

Bill T. of Georgia was a truck driver that wanted to scale back his traveling and spend more time at home with his ailing wife. He took a job driving a bus that had been converted into a mobile bank. He worked part time and mainly drove around to different shopping centers. Bill realized that the economy was changing, fuel prices were raising and less and less people visit the mobile bank. He set about learning how to help file, transfer auto titles, and numerous other jobs. Today he is still paid the high wage he hired in at as a skilled driver, but rarely drives the bus. He used other skills and training to help insure he was able to maintain his job and ability to help his wife recover.

New skills that will help you hold your job need not cost lots of money, require college, or take a lot of your valuable time. Every additional skill you learn can help you forge a stronger bond with your employer.  You want to be one of those employees that the company just can not replace and they want to make sure is still working even if others are laid off. Survival comes on a lot of levels, and survival in the corporate jungle is just as important as wilderness survival.