With soaring unemployment numbers amid COVID-19, it's natural to wonder if your job is safe. Whether or not your company has experienced layoffs or cutbacks, the anxiety is real. These are challenging times, and while nothing is guaranteed, you can take steps to increase the value you bring to your employer.
Mary Kearl, a writer for The Muse and other outlets, says there are some things you can do now to increase your job security and make yourself a more appealing candidate should you decide to explore other opportunities. Keep reading this issue of Promotional Consultant Today for Kearl's six tips to boost your job security now and beyond the pandemic.
1. Remember to RAFT. This stands for being Resilient, Adaptable, Flexible and Thoughtful. Resilient professionals do not let tough times keep them down. They keep moving and do whatever it takes to stay afloat. Adaptable employees learn to go with the flow, adjusting as work environments and assignments change. Those who are flexible are willing to take on new and different roles. Employees who are thoughtful find ways to show kindness to their bosses, colleagues, and customers. These are the kind of people you want on your team. When you remember to RAFT, you can turn yourself into someone no one wants to part with.
2. Embrace creativity. Your company and your clients value people who can creatively solve their pain points. Now is not the time to fall back on business as usual—it's time to think about new and different approaches. To increase your job security, Kearl recommends using your creativity to help your company think through the unforeseen obstacles of the present moment and those still ahead. The only bad idea, she says, it not having any ideas at all. Be creative, demonstrate innovative thinking and look for inventive ways to solve problems.
3. Never stop learning. To make yourself the best employee now and in the future, commit to being a lifelong learning. What are some skills you do not currently have but may need? Even if you only focus on acquiring these skills for an hour a week, you can make yourself a valuable part of your team. Be sure to focus on the big picture, noting the fields that may grow the quickest during the pandemic. For example, how can you sharpen skills that may be relevant to e-commerce business and customer experience?
4. Think of solutions—and then execute. If you want to make yourself a valuable part of the team, it's important to not only have ideas, but also know how to get them done. Your boss and clients have a lot on their minds right now, so don't wait for them to come to you with a problem. It's best to think ahead and tackle challenges without being asked. In this current season, you can make your mark by being someone who rolls up your sleeves and gets the job done with tenacity.
5. Reach out to others. Networking is valuable skill that's worth developing, especially during uncertain times, notes Kearl. Even though people are social distancing or working from home, they will still appreciate you reaching out to them. By simply checking in on a prospect, client or former colleague, you could be opening the door to a new business opportunity. Don't be afraid to be transparent in these conversations. If you need help, ask for what you need. The other person will likely welcome the opportunity to make a positive difference in your life.
6. Practice empathy. Empathy is a soft skill that's especially valuable during difficult times. When you display empathy in all your interactions, you become someone that others want to work with. Whether it's your current team or your clients, others will recognize and appreciate your empathetic approach. Strive to listen actively, offer to help however you can and see how you can make a difference, no matter how small.
Although the current unemployment numbers may rattle you, they don't necessarily mean that your job will be cut. Still, it's important to build the right skills and keep the right mindset to make yourself as valuable as possible—whether it's with your current team or a new one.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Mary Kearl is a professional writer who has contributed articles to Forbes, HuffPost, Business Insider and others.
Used with permission from PPAI