Some industries and job functions are on the upswing, while others are on a slide. You need to figure out where your industry and function is in this transition period. Maintain your level of competence no matter what the situation. It’s the prudent thing to do. You can’t predict the future. Should you be worried about the next 5 years? Maybe. Should you take precautions? Absolutely!
Here are some of the things you can do:
- Performance – The better your performance compared to others is one of the determinants for promotions. Assuming all of your contemporaries are performing the same, then other factors come in to play: Attitude, willing to pitch in when needed, relationship with the boss, attendance, flexibility (remote versus office), to name a few.
- Uniqueness – What can you do that no one else can do? How important is this to the organization? If you’re skill is unique and no one is trained or qualified to perform, you are in an enviable position. Make sure you keep up with any changes that are needed. Also, periodically remind your boss of your unique contributions in supporting the organization. Gain further knowledge to increase productivity or ways to cut costs.
- Skills upgrading or development – Maintaining your skills at the same level within the last few years means you are falling behind. Keep your skills sharpened. Get a certification at a new level, or a tangent or supporting skill. These are the things that make you indispensable.
- Explore internal/external options – Your value to an organization is based on what you can contribute to their results. Explore internal alternatives through posting or contacts with co-workers in other departments. There may be a better position, greater chance of promotion or greater security somewhere else in the organization. Also, check out the marketplace and compare options.
- Attitude and support – Become the person that everyone likes to work with and can count on you for support when needed. This includes the boss. When a choice comes between you and mister grumpy, guess who becomes favored? Take on extra projects when asked. Help train new employees or those that are behind.
- Cooperating and collaborate – As you work with other teams, be as helpful as possible. They may need a new manager during a transition period. You are a known quantity, plus the quality of your work is an asset
- Other considerations – Always have contingencies. The objective is to protect your financials, short and longer term. Have reserves in case of hard times. Volunteer or pursue a hobby that can translate into new income. Start a blog if you have something that others are interested in and want more information.
Staff additions and staff cuts are always being assessed within an organization. If you sense there is a transition in the near future, take action to make sure you are at the top of your function, whether it be with your current organization or another.
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