Since we live in uncertain times and since many of us either have no job, underemployed, unsatisfied with current job, or just curious about future jobs, providing you below some helpful tips, tactics and techniques to build your own safety net that will protect you and advance your career. Face it, the era of job security is over. No longer can anyone expect to work with one company for their career. However, if you develop skill security system you will be able roll with the volatility in the economy and be able to thrive while others struggle. Paradox of job market: much easier to get a job when you already have a job. If you are not working, that sends off signal to employers that something is wrong with you. That is why regardless of whether you are being paid or not always have a job. So are you a member of professional associations? Are you on professional committees? Are you serving as a volunteer officer of a non profit association? Are you a member of a council? One of the best things personally I have ever done in my career was to serve as the volunteer national vice president of the Association for Facilities Engineering. I did not get one penny in compensation. However, I was rewarded by being able to make very influential contacts, be privy to meetings, conferences, events and information that I would never been able to otherwise. Also many of these contacts and information helped provide me a safety net and inside tracks to future high paying jobs. Also provided me credibility and respect in the marketplace and plenty of references. So what are you doing to build your credentials, your references, your network, and skills sets? If you wait till you are out of work, that is too late. Typically a job search takes 4-6 months, so if you wait till you are out of work to build your safety net, you will have a tough struggle ahead. Be proactive. Also going to the front door(HR) of companies and filling out applications like everyone off of the street, you will quickly find that method to be very frustrating, time consuming and not very fruitful. Very important to get connected with decision makers and build friendships in your chosen industry and by serving as on officer in a professional trade association you are instantly elevated to not just a leader at your company, but a leader in your chosen industry. Now it is important not to get overextended, but typically if you attend a couple of meetings a month and perhaps a couple of hours of effort that will help you please your association constituents and garner you notoriety to help advance your career. For those younger than 25 years of age, many associations have student memberships for a minimal fee, some for as little of $25. That is cheaper than a tattoo and can help launch your career and connect you with potential career mentors, and future employers. Are you on Linked-In? Do you have a profile? Does it positively reflect you? Are you members of online groups and discussions? Are you participating? Are you asking questions? Are you building your online connections? Are you receiving daily and weekly e-newsletters? Are you reading online magazines? Are you interacting with the editors and column writers? Are you signed up for INDEED Job Alerts? Just a couple of a hours a week can help you build a strong safety net to not only catch you if your job lets you go but also to help propel your career to new heights. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me @ Joel@SKILLTV.net.