At a time when so many jobs are at risk, pretty much everyone in employment hopes they won’t be the first out of the door. It’s important that you don’t let your anxiety about this reduce your productivity or performance in the work place. In fact there are a number of ways you could raise your chances of being kept on if the directors decide they have to do some pruning of their workforce.
- Love your job. It shows if you don’t. Every job has aspects that are not pleasant, and these have to be completed so it’s best to get on with them as quickly and efficiently as possible. Then give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done and turn your attention to the things you really like doing. Every job has some of these too, and the day will fly by if you let yourself enjoy doing them.
- Be positive. This relates to item 1. If you ignore your negative feelings about the work and always try to look on the bright side, you’ll get more job satisfaction. You’ll also be more popular, with management as well as with your immediate colleagues. And the negative feelings will lessen as the positive side of you asserts itself.
- Be respectful but friendly with everyone. The status of the people you interact with at work shouldn’t matter. Everyone deserves respect and a listening ear. Even when you are busy and up against deadlines, you can afford to smile and greet those that approach you. They will understand if you tell them you haven’t time to talk now but would like to later, as long as you make sure that later time does come. Get in the habit of writing yourself reminder notes about things that might slip your mind. To get some jobs done, you may need to manage sideways and above you in the hierarchy as well as dealing with those you are officially responsible for. This is an ability that is seen as invaluable in times of stress.
- Be unflappable. Don’t allow yourself to panic if things go wrong or a deadline looms ever closer. Stop what you are doing for a moment, take a deep breath and think about what is best to do. Consider what is needed in terms of resources – additional people or equipment – then ask for them. Do you need to negotiate something and will you need help with that? Make your requests to whoever has the power to grant them and then get on with the job as quickly and efficiently as you can.
- Be a problem solver, not a problem maker. A reputation for being someone who recognises potential problems and tries to avoid or solve them could make a senior manager fight to keep you on board.
- Always give 100%. Always doing your job to the best of your ability counts too. Concentrate on what you are doing rather than allowing your mind to wander off to your evening or weekend entertainment. No-one can be perfect. Everyone has off days when they feel a bit tired or unwell, and the best you can do will be less on those days. But it will still be the best of your ability. Sometimes you can work your way out of such down times. Or employ the mind trick of thinking back and remembering when you felt well and full of energy, then physically moving yourself into a different space where you decide to feel that again.
- Be punctual and willing. If you turn up on time, and don’t mind taking on something different or staying a little late to help out, you’re sure to be well thought of.
- Welcome change. Some people fear change, while others see it as another opportunity. Change happens whether we fear it or not, so it’s best to sit in the second camp and look for the opportunities.
It’s in everyone’s interest to do the best you can for the company or organisation you work in. If it has to completely cease operating or trading, everyone loses. So doing what you can to help keep it going and keep people cheerful is a good self preservation technique that all should benefit from. And you won’t be on the list of expendable employees if the organisation needs to downsize.