Gone are the days when decades-long loyalty, professionalism, and devotion to duty were rewarded by lifelong employment. The economic crisis has triggered downsizing and the new demands of the digital age have rendered some positions useless while forcing others to learn new skills. Here are some tips on how to navigate the new corporate world.
Invest in your attitude
If you genuinely like your current job, then you already have a life vest to hang on to once pressure and the demands of bosses more stressed out than you are pour in. Passion or at least a concrete commitment to your task keeps you grounded while at the same time lighting up those adrenaline bursts that will charge you up every morning.
Now, if you’re dragging yourself to work every morning, find that oasis that will bring back that sparkle to your eyes or keep your creative energies going: hobbies, friends, Me Time, etc.
Always remind yourself that you must bring value to the company.
Frankly, this is non-negotiable. When the cost-cutting scissors rear their ugly head, managers do not necessarily lay off the newly hired ones nor the least expensive ones, but the employees who do not or will not contribute significantly to the company’s survival or growth. In any retrenchment process, employers ask about each employee, ‘Can vital operations function without him or her? Can he be easily replaced by someone in the organization?’ If your boss says ‘No’ in reply to your own assessment, then you are safe; if the reverse is true, then your job is in jeopardy.
To protect yourself from this threat, make yourself useful at all times. Lend out a helping hand. Make sure you are visible – and active – in projects or meetings. Document your accomplishments. Without shouting it from the rooftops, find a way to let your immediate supervisor and the Other People Who Matter know.
Embrace new tasks
Make multi-tasking an ally, not an enemy. It’s easy – and human – to grumble when departing and/or retrenched colleagues leave their unfinished projects to you, as you end up carrying the workload of at least 3 people, and not just one. Worse, you might find yourself entrusted with a task that you may not be familiar with. Embrace the situation as opportunities, both as a chance to shine and an avenue to learn, even if it means longer working hours and yes, not necessarily added pay. Besides it’s a chance to power up your resume!
Never stop learning.
Learn on the job and bond with a senior who would be willing to mentor you. Ask tips and other informed advice from colleagues. If finances allow, invest in a workshop or training sessions. If all else fails, read.
Ex-colleagues, ex-bosses, ex-partners, ex-classmates – mine them for information about the industry and the things you do need to upgrade yourself on, as well as leads on potential job opportunities. Employment back-ups never hurt in these uncertain times. Maximize networking cocktails and luncheons, business gatherings, and even alumni association events. You just may bump into the next guru who can enlighten you about the next new important trend of your industry -– and how it may affect your job. Or you might be lucky enough to meet a Very Important Person who is looking for someone who has your same experience, abilities, and credentials.
Photo from insights.sererra.com