COVID-19 among other things has thrown the economy into disarray. Covid-19 doesn’t seem to be leaving us soon thus organizations have had to resort to social distancing and allowing their employees to work from home. Due to the pandemic, there has been a noticeably sharp decline in working hours according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) this means that over 1.6 billion workers globally, who make up almost half of the global workforce, are in danger of potentially having their livelihoods destroyed.
Researchers are now expecting things to get worse than expected because of the extension of lockdown measures. As a result of this economic crisis, almost 1.6 billion people out of a global workforce of 3.3 billion have suffered damages to their ability to earn a living with more than 436 million enterprises experiencing serious disruption. In this situation, it is paramount that steps are taken to ensure job security. Although due to the current economic climate nothing can be guaranteed, with these tips you can ensure you remain a valuable employee and an appealing candidate for future job opportunities.
Here are 11 tips that can help you ensure job security.
1. Be resilient
In these tumultuous times, no one can predict the future. We are all trying to manage uncertainty the best we can. This is why it is important to remember that there are some skills an organization values the most. Resilience, however, is the most highly valued. Resilience means being able to bounce back from a crisis and do whatever you can to keep yourself afloat. Not giving in to the hard times is important and will give you the motivation you need to keep going despite facing problems. It gives you the momentum you need to exceed expectations and sell yourself as a valuable employee.
2. Be Adaptable
The pandemic has shown us exactly how things can change at any given moment, which is why it’s so important to be adaptable. Most of us have had experience with having to quickly adapt to unforeseen circumstances as the lockdown was enforced and we had to shift to working from home. And as such, we can predict that there will be more situations in our career in which we will have to be adaptable as a result of the current economic crisis.
3. Be Creative
The changing times have created a need for creativity. As we are thrust into situations, that we have had no previous experiences with, it is paramount that we learn to come up with creative solutions. A company's survival may depend on its innovation and its ability to swiftly deal with challenges that arise.
As such, employees who can prove themselves to be inventive and resourceful create an image of being indispensable to the organization. Because now more than ever, employers are looking for people who can go where no one has been able to go before and solve all the new problem areas that might pop up.
4. Be Flexible
You must remain flexible along with adapting to whatever circumstance you find yourself in. The pandemic is something all of us are navigating for the first time, therefore it is better to go with the flow of things and not be a stickler about only doing things that are in your job description. If you are delegated a task that is not strictly in your area of expertise, don’t be afraid to take it head-on and perform it to the best of your ability. This shows your employer that you are an important asset to the team.
5. Be Responsible
It can be tempting to shirk duties or prolong things that need to be done because of a lack of immediate accountability. As it gets harder and harder to focus on priorities and remain motivated. You need to remember that by getting things done during this time, you will have an edge over everyone else.
As companies shift towards a newer model of organizations in the wake of the pandemic, they need employees who can “get the job done” and are self-motivated. Employees that can detect and solve problems before they are even asked are no doubt the most valued employees of an organization. This is why you need to remain solutions orientated and be ready to take initiative when it comes to executing tasks.
6. Be Fully present during meetings
All meetings have shifted over to virtual platforms, which makes it so much harder to focus. Especially if you have kids or other family members around, which can cause a lot of distraction and cause you to lose focus.
Try to minimize distractions by turning off your phone or working in a designated spot where you can focus on work. This will lead to you having a much easier time focusing during the meetings.
Remember to always stay engaged during meetings, since everything is virtual you might need to be more vocal and intentional with your undivided attention. A lack of visual stimuli might make it difficult for others to gauge your interest.
Remember that giving intentional attention makes it easier for colleagues to respond to what you are saying, as well as making it easier for you to ask questions, offer new ideas, or follow up on what is being said.
Networking is an important facet of career success at all times. But it is crucial at this stage of uncertainty, you continue to improve your networking skills and reach out to other professionals.
Many people are going through social isolation, reaching out, on your part, will be highly appreciated. It might even open up new doors for you in terms of hearing about a job opportunity or finding someone who can put in a good word for you.
You can start by attending reputable webinars centered around your field. Don’t be afraid of venturing into unknown territory and exploring new fields.
Look for ways to check in with current and ex-employees by setting up virtual hangouts or a quick phone call. Offer help when necessary. Now is the time to be generous and empathetic. Remember, we are all in this together. So, it is okay to be vulnerable and ask for help if you need to.
Build strong relationships with your team members and your supervisors, communicate with members regularly, and listen actively to them. This will solidify you as an essential part of the team.
8. Volunteer for extra tasks
With most organizations going through serious budget cuts and restructuring; we can expect that normal day to day tasks might be thrown off balance. Plus, new, unprecedented tasks might be popping up that no one has much experience with.
To showcase yourself as a valuable employee and a problem solver (both of which are paramount characteristics to ensure job security) you can offer your services by volunteering to pick up tasks where you can.
This way you become indispensable to your company, in a way that if they need tasks done, they will turn to you for help.
However, it is important to make sure that you have time to complete all the extra tasks. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you do not have ample extra time, it is okay to say so and graciously excuse yourself from extra work.
9. Focus on solutions
Use creativity and innovation by focusing on solutions and becoming a problem solver rather than someone handicapped by uncertain environments.
Think of detailed solutions when problems arise, draw out a plan on how to deal with them. Once that is done, you can contact your superior to let them know you have figured out the solution. If your ideas are practical and prove to be a good solution, it will cement your position as an important team member. Be proactive and introspective in figuring out ways you can help your company in the here and now. In the long run, it will help you be seen as a self-starter whose presence is vital for success.
10. Learn new things
Since it is important to stay relevant and up to date with the rapidly changing times, you must remember to learn and evolve as an employee and a team member.
Try to embrace change willingly and adapt where the circumstances ask of you. Companies appreciate employees who can change with the times and bring new skills and innovation to the table.
You can start by attending webinars and talks about all the facets of your industry so that you are up to date on the current trends and are informed enough to make good, creative decisions when it comes to working.
You can also take part in any sort of Online Course or Diploma to add to your skillset and make good use of the time stuck at home. Think about skills you may need, but have not had the time to develop. Start small, and cultivate the mindset that you are a student for life. There is always something new to learn. What is equally important, is to remember, that you know how to learn and inculcate yourself to learn as quickly as possible. So, that you can keep up with the times.
11. Be Empathetic
Being empathetic may seem like a soft skill that is not of much use in the cutthroat world of capitalism, however, in these unprecedented times, it may turn out to be one of the most vital tools in securing your job and excelling in your career.
Research conducted by the American Psychology Association shows that people often avoid being empathetic because of the effort involved.
Bringing empathy into your dealings with clients and employees alike can help boost your interpersonal relationships and give you the help you need in networking. People will remember you are kind and helpful which will be a good incentive for them to look out for you in case you require help.
Everyone is trying their best to make sense of things, which is why it would be helpful if you were to remain kind and thoughtful when dealing with your colleagues. Keep in mind that they are also struggling as you are. If you do all of this, you are cementing your place as not only a capable employee but one that is also a pleasure to work with during these tough times.
You can start by staying in touch with your colleagues and simply asking how they are doing is how we deal with the tough time for all of us. When they open up to you, remember to be an active listener and offer help in whatever small way you can. Remember, vulnerability is not a weakness and can help you seem more personal and likable.
Offer support and guidance to other team members, this makes you the go-to person on the team if anyone requires help. Thereby, increasing the chances of you being seen as a mentor with exceptional leadership skills.
With the pandemic throwing our personal and professional life into a state of confusion, the unpredictability can be nerve-wracking. The uncertainty is what scares us the most. And in times like this, it is common to crave stability. The bottom line is to remain calm and focus on solutions rather than the problems themselves. There can be no guarantees of anything at this point. But with keeping the above tips in mind you will be able to handle anything thrown at you.