By Angela Civitella
During these changing times, with such economic shifts and downturn in employment, you may be facing a reality of losing your job. Right now, there seems to be job loss in almost all industries.
What the future holds for you is dependent on how your industry reacts to this “new normal,” how financially sound your company is, what role you truly played as an employee/team member, and decisions made by government officials that may impact how certain organizations will continue going forward.
Downsizing is no longer a '90s issue. It has become a current issue. Preparation is key. Start thinking about what moves you need to make to keep your job or if you want to take a new path.
Do you feel your position might be targeted next? Help secure your job with these key steps:
Make Yourself Indispensable
One way to keep your job essential is to become a crucial part of making things flow in your company. Be known as a self-starter. Do things even if it means going out of your job description. The more places you show up and the more problems you solve, the more indispensable you become.
Become the “Go-To”
Get to know the company and the people you work for. Become a so-called “historian” of the business, someone that everyone would go to for answers that very few would know. Be able to connect the dots as to how each department functions with one another. Knowing what the game plan is for each department would give you an impressive advantage. Knowing who the team members are in each department is also vital. You know who to go to at any moment when a crucial decision must be taken for a task or a project.
Add Value and Get Noticed
Contributions that add value to the bottom line via cost savings, process improvements, increased sales and new customers are noticed and will help in keeping your job. Don’t just implement; make it known it was you. Contributions that can be measured count. The more contributions you make, the more valuable you become and the more likely you are to hold on to that position.
Ask How You Can Help
Employees who are willing to do more, help coworkers meet their deadlines and volunteer for increasingly challenging assignments are appreciated. The amount of work they contribute to the organization raises their value in the eyes of the company. If you are seen as someone willing to grow your skills and ability to contribute, this sends a powerful message that you are willing to grow and be a future part of the organization. Remember, change and adaptability equals value.
Get More Personal with Your Manager or Department Head
This is simply a suggestion to develop a legitimate, friendly, positive, supportive relationship with your boss. In other words, be a people person and get in good with your department heads. If you are trusted, depended on and genuinely liked, they will resist laying you off. Two people must be convinced to let you go. That’s not very likely if you’re making measurable and appreciated contributions with one or more department heads.
Don’t Be a Complainer
Be an employee who is low maintenance, is valued and is lauded. Almost no employment relationship is worse than the needy employee from whom the manager expects to always hear complaints or whines. Of course, your manager is there to listen should you have problems or issues at work. But don’t dominate the conversation with constant complaining and difficulties. This most definitely affects how you are seen and valued.
Longer Work Hours Get You Noticed
Work-life balance might have to wait for a little while. We’re all in survival mode. Show solidarity, not only to your job, but also to your leader. If this requires you to be at the office longer than normal, so be it. You got to do what you got to do. Demonstrate your loyalty and perseverance by only leaving the office after your leader does.
Keep Growing and Learning
Grow into your job and with any promotion that may come your way. This ability to stay curious and learn new skills will keep you relevant, and with a job. It’s good to be liked, but it’s not enough. The company must be able to view and see that you can contribute in the future. Remember, when a company looks to the future and who can be part of it, only the best team members are considered.
Team Building is Key
Get to know and become allies with the superstars of the company, those who have power and will speak up for you. Positive relationships with these elites will help you in your mission to keep your job. In times of strife and hard decision-making, this is the group with whom you want to be associated. It is, in the end, not enough what you know, but who you know.
Whether an employer will share them with you or not, these are the reasons why an employer will keep you employed when others are not. Of course, economic mishaps can take down even the best employees (for example, the company closes), but for anything short of that, do these things and exhibit these characteristics to stay on that all-important list of people to keep.
Angela Civitella is a certified business leadership coach and founder of Intinde (www.intinde.com).