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6 Things to Do to Increase Your Job Security

There’s a lot of uncertainty in a world that’s changing before our eyes...

The good news is there are steps you can take to prove your worth, help you keep the job you have, and thrive even during difficult periods. Of course, there are no guarantees and you can’t control if your entire team gets laid off. But by taking these steps you’d also be making yourself a more appealing candidate in case you do need to search for something new.

Here are 6things you can do to help you increase your job security during uncertain times.

1. Be Resilient, Adaptable, Flexible, and Thoughtful

These are the four skills companies value most,

(R)esilience: Bouncing back in tough times (A)daptability: Adjusting to novel environments (F)lexibility: Being able and willing to wear different hats (T)houghtfulness: Being respectful, intentional, and communicative with colleagues

Of all of these, "resilience" is the most critical trait at this time. That means doing whatever it takes to stay afloat and handle the unknown, she says. If RAFT is all about keeping the boat moving, resilience is the force that will motivate you to pull on the oars.

Beyond maintaining that momentum, you’ll also need to evolve. Specifically, you should be paying attention to what’s happening at your company. Take on the tasks and projects that need to be tackled in this new reality to help your employer succeed right now—whether that’s running virtual meetings or taking on a different role or additional responsibilities within a smaller company.

In other words, go with the flow if someone asks you to do something that’s outside of your original job description. Think about where else you could jump in to help. Being open to filling in where needed, identifying opportunities on your own, and developing the discipline to follow through will require time and dedication. But it can be the thing that sets you apart.

You’ll become known as someone who can take on anything as well as an excellent colleague no one would want to part with.

2. Demonstrate Inventive Thinking

It’s not just about being flexible and adaptable when it comes to your own role; you also want to use your creativity to benefit the entire organization. Bring new ideas to the table to help your company make it through the unforeseen obstacles of the present moment and those still ahead.

A sentiment shared by Vivian Chen, CEO of Rising a flexible work platform for women. “Now more than ever, employers are looking for people who can solve their pain points,” she says.

It’s great if your suggestions can help your company bring in more business or cut expenses—something that can translate to jobs saved, yours included—but even if your ideas don’t directly help increase revenue or bring savings, your creative and resourceful ideas can still make you a valuable employee your company will want to hang on to.

3. Be a Lifelong Learner

Even before the global pandemic, there’s always been “some hot marketing skill, new sales tactic, or the latest tech stack to master. know how to learn and get up to speed quickly,” she says. “As the world changes, we have to adopt the mindset that we are students for life.”

Reflecting on skills you haven’t yet developed but may need—and then focusing on acquiring them, even for just one hour a week may be very important. For instance, if you’re a social media marketer on a team that’s gotten smaller and scrappier, you might decide to bolster your data skills so that you can better analyze performance and increase engagement by taking an online course and reaching out to fellow marketers in the industry who can share their insights about what’s been helpful for them. Whatever your situation is, the key is to “start with small, focused, and consistent steps”.

As you go about picking up new skills and knowledge, you’ll start to figure out the ways you like to learn. You’ll notice what format makes it easiest for you to retain new information, what time of day is most productive for you, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie, all of which will also make you a better employee. You’ll gain a reputation as a self-starter who takes the initiative to step up when needed.

4. Get Things Done

Having a strategic vision was the most important skill , but now the same feels like creating a “pretty PowerPoint deck” without being able to execute it. Employers need team members to be solutions-oriented—and execute.

Even better are problem solvers who tackle challenges without being asked.

What companies need—while they pivot to adopt new business models and revenue streams and while unemployment skyrockets—are employees who “can get things done, fast” . In other words: People who can roll up their sleeves and do the task at hand, no matter how small or “not-so-glamorous.”

Those who will succeed now are “the hardest workers with the greatest tenacity,” Telling says. “Now more than ever, those people who have grit, determination, and dedication will stand out from their peers.”

5. Keep Networking

Whether you’re looking for new opportunities or not, networking is a skill that’s valuable to develop, especially in times of uncertainty.

We all crave connections. And you never know when this might open doors for you. Looking for webinars to attend, setting up virtual meetings, and reaching out to former colleagues to check-in. It’s OK to be vulnerable and share your experiences—we are all in this together.

Now maybe the time you can help others currently affected by job loss and become known as a generous team player. “People love to help, and you might even make someone’s day by giving them a chance to make a positive impact.

6. Bring Empathy to Everything

Soft skills such as empathy are in great demand among employers. Not only will the people you work with feel good being around you, but you’re also more likely to keep your job. Those candidates who bring empathy to their people and clients are the ones who we consistently see rising to the top, and who are, in general, just a real joy to work with.

People often avoid practicing empathy because of the mental effort involved, suggests research from the American Psychological Association—but when they believe they are good at being empathetic, they are more likely to do it. A great place to start to boost your confidence in your empathy skills—especially at this moment when many within your company are likely struggling—is simply by reaching out to your colleagues and asking how they’re doing. Then actively listen as they share, offer to help in whatever small way you can, and open up in return.

With daily life in a state of flux, it’s natural to crave stability and security. While there are no guarantees, these steps will help you strengthen your position within your current company and bolster your skillset in case you need, or decide, to explore new opportunities.


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