A common thread I see with job searchers is that most are caught flat-footed when it comes to the job search. I hear all the time, “I loved this company and was planning on retiring here.” The economy changed all that when businesses were forced to reduce their staff, or worse, shut down because of the Great Recession.

Life offers no guarantee and there is no such thing as job security. However you can do one thing that will soften the blow should you ever get a pink slip. Keep a file on yourself. That’s right. Save every piece of paper related to your career. Keep notes in that file on how well you’re doing. Because bosses change. Companies merge.  Or one day you may decide you are no longer passionate about what you’re doing. Keep those certificates of appreciation, and emails from customers and your boss about how well you’re doing. You can also include awards, transcripts, and notes on your data. It also doesn’t hurt to reach out and get references and recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. Do this before you ever need it.

It’s hard to remember all these little accolades through the years, let alone the dates you’ve come and gone from one job to the next. Keeping a file will make it so much easier when it’s time to update your resume. You’ll be better prepared if your job goes away.