018 Pam Lassiter: The New Job Security

by Tom McDonough Deborah Burkholder on September 13, 2012


Internet radio for savvy professionals –
doing work you love, work that matters

“Career Whiplash” starts the introduction in Pam Lassiter’s book The New Job Security.

That sudden jerk or jolt that typically causes injury.

So how do we heal or better yet, prevent whiplash?

We asked Pam to join us to talk about best strategies to connect with work we love.

Alan Webber, Founding editor of Fast Company says “When it comes to the hard work of finding great work Pam Lassiter is the consummate pro. She has the experience, the common sense, and the proven track record. My advice: Take her advice.”

We’d love to hear from you in terms of your actionable takeaways from this episode.

Leave a comment or send us an email.

Listen to the full interview by clicking player above.

Here are some exurps from todays interview…

From the show

Pam, I have totally enjoyed your new book The New Job Security  and you first wrote about this in 2002.  Can you tell us what inspired you to write about this topic?

In 2002 it was a recession, remember back then?  Things were hitting the fan in 2001.  A lot of people were losing their jobs especially in the technology bubble, and I was talking with people constantly, day after day, that were saying the same thing.  “I know you probably never worked with anybody like me and .”  or “I am at a senior level.”  Or “I never had to look for a job before.  I am middle age and what do I do now?”  I don’t say it out loud but I think “I deal with people like you every day.”  I was seeing the universal pain and the universal pain is based on our never having been trained or even think about  our own careers.

Five core strategies that make a difference for your long term career.

There is job security.  It is just the location that has moved.  It has moved from the company control into our control and isn’t that where we really want it anyway?

We didn’t realize we did but now that we have it now it is thinking strategically about how I can take control and how I can do.  So the job security is imbedded inside of us.  And to get in some of these core practices lets you do it over your career.  The objective is to minimize the roller coaster.  To anticipate and be prepared.

I see it as an alignment , you will probably hear me use the word align more than once today because the alignment of what we want  and what the organization wants should motivate both of us.  It’s got to be a partnership.

I think I am going to start backing off that word (passion) a little bit.  Finding something that interests us and may be meaningful  that we can see an area to grow in and then getting a company that aligns with that.

What does the market want to hear?  Who is my market?  What are their names?  I don’t even start a resume development until my client can identify at least a market, then we hear what their needs are and then comes the resume.

We find out what we need to develop by reflecting inwardly but also my clients research ads from across the country.  They aren’t responding to them, they are researching what are the common themes and what is the education companies are looking for?  That is where you may develop yourself into something they may all want but something you don’t have.  So it’s not just random development.  It is targeted development into your interests and if they align to what your market wants to see as well.

Those five core strategies are still the same that I was writing about ten years ago.  What’s different is the tactics which is just amazing to me.

…that whole process has changed on how companies look for talent.  Technology is major overlay on what has affected career management in the past two to five years.  How we look for jobs, how we think about jobs, how we apply for jobs.  People are researching online.  One thousand people can literally apply for one opening.  So the competition has become unrealistic online.

OK, they are all interdependent on each other and they do go in order.  The first one is send clear signals which is clarity about what you are doing and that is the resume and all that.  The irony is that you sell better if you are focused.  Different people want to be all things to all people and it doesn’t work.  You come across as a blob.  Not as someone who could solve that company’s problems.

The second one is to market for mutual benefit which is you figure out what you want then you flip it over to the other side…

The third one is one I want to talk about if we have a couple of minutes, and that is stop looking for jobs…That is where the pain starts and that is what drives me crazy.  People are putting maybe 80% of their time in something that produces a 3% return.

There are all sorts of things going on around any transaction where talent is needed.  Most of the art is following the money.  Where is the energy going and the pressure point moving?  That is where jobs get created.  So problems create jobs.  Change creates jobs.  Trends create jobs.  Think about the political conventions that we are in the middle of right now.  I promise you jobs were created probably several months back and there are even more being created even as we speak from all the staging being created for President Obama’s speech tonight.

…companies are struggling to solve problems constantly.

Yes, the next to last one is networking.  Building sustainable networks.  Sustainable is what I work towards.  You don’t want to use it then lose it type of networks.

The last point is about negotiating networks wisely and round rooms.  Round rooms don’t have corners and what do we not want to paint ourselves into?  A corner.  And painting yourself into a corner is like I was making $89k in my last job and that is what I need in my next one.  That is a corner.

Think creatively.  Thanks for asking.  Be creative at looking through the job market from different angles, pressure points, and trends and problems to be solved instead of boxes to be checked on advertised job postings.  That will give us more opportunities.

The name of Pam’s book is The New Job Security and her website is lassiterconsulting.com.

Listen to the full interview by clicking player above.

We’d love to hear from you in terms of your actionable takeaways from this episode. Leave a comment or send us an email.

Contact Pam Lassiter

Website: lassiterconsulting.com

Twitter: @pamlassiter


Pam’s Book:  The New Job Security, Revised: The 5 Best Strategies for Taking Control of Your Career


What do you want?

80% of finding work you love, work that fits you is knowing what you want. If you don’t know or aren’t quite sure –  just start with what you think you might want. Take small smart steps and follow your gut. Talk to people who are already doing the work you’re interested in. Connect with them on LinkedIn.

To learn more about the Just Start Program check out our Just Start Page.

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Tom & Deborah help creative engaged professionals turn their dream job into a reality.

We’ll be launching our pilot 12 Week Job Search the Smart Way online training course mid October.

Contact: Deborah Burkholder – Tom McDonough

Continued Learning

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Listen to the full interview by clicking player above.



  1. […] Listen to the full interview at Career Tips & Trends. […]

  2. […] If your not familiar with Pam, check out our interview with her on Career Tips & Trends. […]

  3. […] Her approach places job security right into your own hands. She’ll discuss ways to… • Create work during economic uncertainty • Increase the response rate to your calls and emails • “Close” the sale in getting the next meeting or offer • Develop a Plan B while Plan A is still active These strategies are not just for those in transition (which is inevitable), they’re ones that you’ll want to have when you want to grow within your companies, and even into retirement. They’re all about managing change. Curve balls can be a welcomed change when you take charge and put creative strategies to work for you. If you’re not familiar with Pam, check out our interview with her on Career Tips & Trends- http://www.careertipsandtrends.com/018-pam-lassiter-the-new-job-security. […]

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