Since the economy is now in recession, the current state of affairs is causing many people rethink how they view their job security. Those life-long jobs we hear our grandparents speak of, unfortunately, do not exist in the numbers they once did. For most people, their best option is to make themselves one of the employees that stands out from the others in terms of willingness to work, enthusiasm and dedication to the business. Here are a few suggestions to help “recession-proof” your job.
1. Keep a positive attitude
I once heard a story about a person in nursing school that was considered for a job over others, simply because of their good attitude. While many other students were becoming discouraged and complaining, this particular student kept a positive attitude, which then rubbed off on everyone else! Working with someone like this makes tasks seem much less difficult, and a positive morale usually does great things for teamwork in the business. Being one of those few that can find the positive in every situation could help single you out as a stellar employee.
2. Give real effort
Those that do more than what is required generally stand a better chance of being noticed by those in authority. The same applies in school. Real effort will usually reward you with a nice “A” or “B” because the teacher knows you put in the extra time and work and really care about what you are doing. Employers can usually tell when a job has been done with above-average dedication.
3. Learn how to delegate
The skill of knowing what can be outsourced and what cannot is something that is learned with time. If you can figure out a way to take some of the busy work out of your boss’s schedule, they just might find that to be a valuable bit of reasoning. Knowing how to allocate resources for maximum efficiency is a skill that will greatly benefit any company.
4. Learn new things
Finding new ways to improve processes and having more general knowledge helps make work run more smoothly. The general knowledge of anything related to the company helps you make informed and wise decisions. Having the knowledge on hand also makes you a valuable resource for anyone having difficulty with their own work. Resolving issues before they become problems is a great skill to have and saves those in authority the trouble of sorting out the mess.
It is easy to just sit back and do your job; however, when a company is restructured, it is best if others (your boss, other managers and employees) know the quality of work you do. If you are willing to put in extra time and effort and actually have that extra time, try to volunteer to take the tasks no one else wants. This will make your boss’s life easier, and they will most likely appreciate it. If they know you as someone who is willing to help with a wide variety of tasks, you have a better chance of keeping your job. In addition, getting to know and respect managers in other departments is a good idea so that you have someone to speak for you other than your current boss. If the current authority is laid off, then someone else in management knows the quality of work that you do. Though this tactic helps, don’t depend solely on it to save your job. (It is a good step in case you have to find employment later.)
If you know how to solve a problem a co-worker is dealing with, share your knowledge with them. This gives your boss fewer questions to answer and reduces the number of headaches he/she has to sort out. Helping jobs run smoothly ultimately makes your department run more efficiently, thus benefiting the profits of the entire company. A department that is shown to be efficient will be much less likely to suffer from lay-off’s in the future.
7. Take responsibility
Everyone appreciates honesty. If you happen to make a mistake at work, it’s not a good idea to try to cover it up. Usually, trying to hide mistakes only results in a bigger mess. Simply being honest can be a wonderful tool in gaining the trust of both authorities and co-workers, alike. People are more likely to really work hard for someone they know is trustworthy and that helps them whenever possible.
8. Be creative
Being creative with your problem solving can assist you in devising new solutions to dilemmas in the workplace. If you can find a solution to a problem before your boss is even bothered with it, they will come to appreciate this very much, and will most likely not want to lose you if restructuring occurs.
9. Stay healthy
Good health is one of the major components of reliability. For example, if you don’t get enough rest, you might not be able to solve problems and face issues that normally wouldn’t be much of a challenge for you. Even though this is not your normal level of ability, your boss might not know you well enough to realize this, so it is really beneficial to make rest a priority. Good fitness levels also help improve your self-confidence and give you something positive to think about when your day isn’t going how you would like. Someone who shows dedication in taking care of themselves is more likely to put that same effort into their work.
10. Develop communication skills
One thing that most employers notice and appreciate is an employee that has good communication and grammar skills. Those that show they have superior vocabulary and grammatical knowledge are able to express ideas and assist others in understanding difficult material. If your communication skills are polished, it makes you sound intelligent and well-prepared for the tasks given to you, even if you don’t have a lot of experience in the field. Ability to communicate well also enables you to explain difficult concepts to other employees. This, again, helps save your boss time and hassle. When you free others to do things that they normally would not have time to, it helps promote innovation within the company and generate possible profits.
Being an effective and dedicated employee makes you stand out from the crowd in a positive manner. Those that take an active, rather than passive, role in securing their employment stand a much better chance than those that just accept what they see as inevitable. As the cliche says, “The best defense is a good offense.” Keeping the ball in your court gives you a bit more control over your employment status and helps relieve the stress of feeling helpless. Actively but discreetly promoting yourself in the esteem of those around you can make all the difference in keeping and enjoying your job.
Dmitri Eroshenko says
…and above all, don’t be a sheepwalker!
Seth Godin: “I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear to keep them in line.”
Yep. Sheepwalkers are really dispensable!
1 and 2 are quite important here.
The basis is that you actually care to do this work, otherwise you are forcing yourself to do it. I wonder how many people today force themselves to do jobs they hate.
I am not going to do all this for fear of being laid off by my boss. I will never show to my boss that I am flattering him in order not to be fired or laid off. Fire me I will get a new job or I will create my own job.
Please do not beg your boss! don’t appear desperate in front of him. just be yourself.
By the way all bosses know the tricks described herein, some bosses even laugh behind.
Mark Shead says
@Simon – If you see these things as “tricks” then they probably won’t work for you. :)
Having a passion for the work I do makes 1 through 10 a natural response. Authentic joy is an attractive state of being.
These tips should not be considered just some methods to impress your boss. It’s more about you and creating a self respect, improve habits and create a proper and healthy work environment.
I’ve just re-emerged after working on a book for threee years and am renewing my networks to find gainful employment. This list was helpful for me to think about as I interview for new work. Thanks.
– Stick with your local environment, don’t go to the CEO, when you are in HR department.
– Make the other workers depend on you, not the boss.
– Start planning Plan B.