I had a very hard time finding my first job, and I swore afterwards that I would never let myself get into the same situation again. I am not talking about ambition here, but rather how to stay employed happily and be in a position to move if you choose to. Many writers simply want to write and not become company president.
Keep Good Relations with Your Boss
I have always been a fan of “how to” books, but one of most wrong-headed pieces of advice I found in them was that you should make sure you are the person your boss is grooming to be his or her successor. Unfortunately, many managers are either content to stay where they are or are desperately trying to protect the jobs they have. Also, if you want to keep your job until you choose to leave, acting like a team player is best.
In addition, always try to figure out your colleagues’ motivations, and try to be understanding (within reason).
Network, Network, Network
Networking should be an everyday habit, and not something you only practice nervously at big events or use when you lose a job. For a writer, this is fairly easy since you can always write an email and report the latest company or personal news.
If someone you think well of is leaving, be sure to congratulate them and offer to keep in touch. If someone is laid off and you think well of them, offer support and recommendations. LinkedIn is an easy way to do this, which is why the site is so popular.
Keep up with the Latest Developments in Your Field
Frankly, I think this is probably the most important thing you can do (but I would not neglect the others). If you are not the person trained on the latest tools, find out why. You have a problem.
Always keep up with the latest trends in your industry. Get training, even if your company is not providing it. This is a great investment, and can help you stay employed or move to another job. If possible, write articles about these trends if you can do so without violating company policy. Publication is always impressive, even if you are just writing for a professional society’s website, blog, or newsletter.
Never Telecommute 100% of the Time Permanently
Telecommuting a few days a week can be good for your sanity, but telecommuting all the time is dangerous. You lose touch with what is going on in the office and you don’t regularly hear the rumors and the latest gossip about how the company is doing.
The best contacts to have are not in management but in sales. Management is generally secretive, but most people in sales are friendly and garrulous. You can at least find out how sales are going, which is an important indicator of a company’s health.