The recession has not only left millions unemployed, it has redefined the workplace for the lucky ones who are still hanging—by the skin of their teeth—to their jobs.
Thanks to freeze-hire policies, you may have to do the work of five people. Quotas are higher, pressure is greater. Nevertheless, it’s this kind of environment where you have the greatest opportunity to shine. Here are ways to stay motivated, fulfilled, and most of all, the best at your job.
Remember what you love about your job
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 and give you a burst of adrenaline 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. List down 5 tasks that you are sincerely curious and excited about. If you can’t, list 5 tasks that will—and ask your boss if you can handle a project that involves them. (Feeling stuck? Read our life tips on secrets of highly motivated people.)
Think in terms of ‘value’
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 sure you are visible – and active – in projects or meetings. Document your accomplishments.
Multi-task with a mission
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 to gain more skills and experience, which will open new job opportunities.
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.
Don’t burn bridges.
Beyond the courteous goodbyes, make the extra effort to heal disagreements or clarify misunderstandings. You never know; ex-colleagues and ex-bosses may become future clients and partners later on.
Photo from prakashonsoftware.org
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