Efficient, Proficient, and Self – Sufficient – 3 Skills to Help You Survive an Employment Crisis

The headlines, newscasters, talk shows, friends, relatives, and even strangers are all talking about the problems with today’s economy.

Whether it’s the loss of a home or the slow dwindling of investment accounts, everyone is talking about the affects this economy is having on their lives.

In recent days, the hottest topic of discussion regarding our news breaking economy has been more about jobs – layoffs in particular.

The American unemployment rate has reached an all-time high of 8.1%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With so many people losing their jobs, it makes those who have one grateful that they can still pay their bills, keep food on their tables, and keep a roof over their heads.

The rapid increase of job layoffs and employment uncertainties has employees wondering what they can do to keep their jobs and avoid the unemployment lines; what they can do to make themselves stand out from the rest; and what they can do to make themselves indispensable.

Many experts have said that now is the time for employees to take stock of their skills, invest in improving their skills, and begin in earnest to fully use their skills in order to become indispensable.

With that in mind, to survive and thrive in this current employment environment, today’s employees must focus on developing the three significant characteristics of efficient, proficient, and self-sufficient to make themselves a more valuable asset, not only to their companies, but for their families and themselves, as well.

Let’s look at the first characteristic of efficiency. Efficient employees are those who are productive without waste. They are able to work smart by producing desired results without wasting their vital resources of time and energy.

When you operate as an efficient employee, you are able to put forth effort in your work day, whether you work 8, 9, or 12 hours, and get much done with few mistakes. Since you understand that mistakes can cost time and money plus hinder a positive working relationship with clients and customers, you, as an efficient employee, will focus on having a mastery of organizational and time management skills to boost your ability of consistently producing without waste.

The next characteristic today’s employees must develop is that of proficiency. A proficient employee is an employee that has great knowledge and experience in a trade or profession.

In today’s economic climate, not only are there more and more people losing their jobs, but there also seems to be more and more people doing a job that they don’t know much about doing.

Have you experienced interacting with someone regarding an aspect of their job that you thought they would know but they did not know much about it at all? Perhaps they transferred you to someone else, or maybe they flat out told you they did not know anything about what you were asking, or possibly they gave you some information only for you to find out later that the information was totally incorrect and did not help you with what you needed help fixing or resolving.

Employees who do not know their jobs well cannot do their jobs well. That is why it is important for you to learn every aspect of your job and learn it properly. The more you know, the further you will go. The success of your job will depend on the knowledge and skills you possess. Therefore, take classes, enroll in certification programs, study material on your own, and work with a mentor to help position yourself as a proficient employee.

The final characteristic today’s employees must develop is the characteristic of self-sufficiency. With all of the uncertainty that employees face regarding the stability of their jobs, the characteristic of self-sufficiency can serve them well.

Self-sufficient employees are able to maintain themselves without outside aid. Of course, in the workplace, teamwork, which requires you to receive assistance from others, is essential for establishing bonds amongst co-workers, successfully completing projects, and achieving company goals. However, operating as a self-sufficient employee will allow you to demonstrate an extreme confidence in your own ability and worth.

This means, you will operate as a self-starter who performs work that you are proud of. In addition, you will work with minimal instructions from the boss, doing what you know must be done, instead of waiting to be told what you must do. Furthermore, you will understand that you are not an island and you will know the resources that can help you to do a job well done and you will tap into them for assistance.

Valuing your efforts, utilizing your resources, remembering your goals, tapping into your talents, and using your skills will help you to operate as a self-sufficient employee in the workplace.

And, in the unfortunate event you should find yourself facing the unemployment line, your ability to provide for your own needs will help you to establish a career where you can rely on your own knack to produce a living and survive during this employment downturn.

With constant reminders that these are not easy economic times in which we live, focusing on positive aspects of employment may appear a discouraging task. Yet, if you work on strengthening the characteristics of efficient, proficient, and self-sufficient, you will position yourself to survive this – and any future – employment crisis.

Transitioning From Military to Civilian Employment

Job transitioning is a simple process of changing job, career or occupation. Nowadays, a number of people are going for job transitioning. It has been discovered in recent times that a large number of military professionals are changing transitioning to civilian jobs. This is mainly because of extra benefits that these private firms offer. So, if you are a military professional that is looking to work in a civilian job then you are not alone there are certainly a number of such people.

Every year around 250,000 military professionals leave their jobs. We all know that military professionals are very capable candidates who can make the best out of career opportunities. They just need to show enough self confidence to withstand the competitive market. Now, let us talk about a few things that a military candidate should do in order to be successful in civilian jobs.

1. Assessment of strengths

It is very important for a military applicant to work hard on his skills and abilities and assess them properly. Military professionals are very beneficial in most of the commercial jobs because of their high standards of operations and performance. These professionals make excellent leaders and HR professionals.

2. Creating an excellent civilian job resume

The military professionals need to create a resume that is apt according to the present norms of the market. The main focus should be on the professional qualities and skills of the individuals. You should never emphasize on your military rank in the resume. This could give a wrong message to the employer.

3. Good cover letter

A cover letter is a very important document in your job hunt procedure. For any applicant it is an important tool of securing a good job. You simply need to convince the employer regarding your professional goals and how can you benefit their firm.

4. Identify your career needs

It is very important for you to understand what exactly your career needs are. You need to think about various options that suit you best when it comes to your career. If you want you could even go for a Transition Assistance Program (TAP). This program could certainly help you identify your career needs.

5. Think about all alternatives

You need to think about all the career options that you could pursue. Try and discover new career opportunities.

So, this was all about transitioning from military to civilian jobs. Have fun!

Weaponizing Employment Against the Poor

Albert Einstein elegantly once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. This adage comes to mind when we see that yet again work requirements are being used as a bludgeon to combat Americans who live in poverty and who are in need of safety-net programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), HUD housing assistance, and if President Trump has his way, even Medicaid.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers has recommended work requirements for the most extensive welfare programs and the current administration has mandated that federal agencies alter their presumably lax welfare program standards. These moves are premised on the continuing notion that the poor are a drain on federal resources due to their laziness, recklessness, and lack of ambition. So here we go again, concluding that the poor are so, solely because of their own deficient behavior and must be made to work harder to receive assistance from this government.

It’s not that simple.

Is this work requirement approach fair in that recipients of aid (excluding children, elderly and disabled) should be made to show an attempt to earn their government supports, which allegedly incentives people to not be poor, or is this a kick to the poor and disenfranchised when they’re already down?

It’s worth examining a few of points about welfare work requirements:

1. According to the US Census Bureau the 2017 poverty rate was 12.3%, a 0.4% decrease from the year before. Since 2014 the poverty rate has fallen 2.5%. So if the current trend line is a declining poverty rate why is a harsh condition like work requirements for the poor necessary at this time?

2. This effort was last tried under Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich with their 1996 welfare reform legislation. We’ve had a couple decades to see how that has gone and studies like those from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and in the book Making Ends Meet (Edin and Lein) show that despite short term marginal improvements in employment they were not sustainable, mostly due to necessary and increased living expenses, absorbing any work generated financial gains.

3. Where are these jobs that the poor are supposed to get? If you’ve spent most of your life in poverty chances are quite low you can pick up a knowledge-economy job quickly. We’ve all heard how the traditional manual labor jobs are drying up, so what’s left? Lousy-waged part-time jobs with unpredictable and changeable hours is what’s left.

4. If the government feels the need to pick on somebody shouldn’t it be the employers of vast numbers of unskilled and low-skilled who pay their workers, including the working poor, insufficient wages that in turn need to be underwritten by the American tax payers?

Now one place where there could be political agreement is in the government providing subsidized high quality work training requirements targeted to actually helping the poor get the knowledge and skills needed for a globalized and digitized economy. Currently, training requirements can be in lieu of work requirements, but their effectiveness remains questionable.

The causes and cures for poverty are varied, complex, and far beyond the scope of this piece. But if we as a society are truly interested in ameliorating the condition of poverty (as we should be!) we need to be looking for demonstrably beneficial interventions that measurably make positive differences. Requiring the poor to get a low-end job that increases their child care and transportation costs just to prove they’re not milking the system or making them pay for a hand up from those of us with tax paying means is not a humane way to go about it.