Last time I introduced you to the eight high performance behaviors that can give you the best odds of staying employed. Remember we are NOT talking about necessarily keeping the job you have, but rather focusing on how you can keep income coming in regardless of what may happen to the particular job you have at this moment. I am interested in you having the skills necessary to STAY EMPLOYED even if something were to happen to the job you have. Think of yourself as the CEO of your career. YOU are in charge. And, as a result, you may have one client (job/company) or you may have several clients. When one client is gone (downsizing, layoffs, restructuring, etc.) your number one goal is to do whatever is necessary to begin working with a second client (job, company). It is important that YOU take charge of your career and not feel you are the victim in the world of employment.
Connie, one of the eight high performance behavior you mentioned in your last blog was “Demonstrate that you add value to the organization”. This is much easier said than done. Most of my job goes unnoticed or worse yet, someone else takes credit for it. I don’t work directly with any customers and I’m not in sales so I can get my results and numbers noticed. And I am certainly not the type to go around bragging and blowing my own horn. So how do I get noticed when my name comes up for discussion as to whether I should be the one to stay or go?
My first question is this: Why aren’t you comfortable being you own best advocate? That attitude is both self-limiting and self-defeating. I’m definitely not asking you to brag, lie or embellishment your actual accomplishments, but letting people know what you contribute and how you bring VALUE to your organization is definitely part of your job if you want to keep it. Mangers and bosses today are usually swamped–just as you are. They may not always be aware of the extra things you do and bring to the table. YOU had better let them know–through reports, e-mails, discussions that you are a VITAL part of the organization. Vital means necessary to existence, essential. Write down what you do in a business-like manner whose tone suggests you are simply keeping them in the loop. Now you BOTH have documentation which could come in handy later.
Second, your comment, “I don’t work directly with customers.” My first suggestion is that you need to broaden your definition of “customer”. You co-workers are your customers, your vendors are your customers, and everyone else you interact with throughout the day are your customers. Your job is to keep them engaged, informed, up-to-date and be the one they can count on to do your part of the job as it pertains to their role in the company. It sounds as though you might not believe, first and foremost, that what you do is VALUABLE and linked to the ongoing financial success of your company. Your job is to work directly with the people who work directly with customers. Their ability to do their job should be enhanced and made easier when you do your job. There is your link to the outside “customer”. YOU must believe that your job is important and fits into the overall vision of your company. If you don’t see yourself as part of the big picture, then no one else will either. The belief that you bring VALUE must begin with YOU.
Your next comment, “I’m not in sales” is just not true. Open your mind to a new definition of “sales”. Everyone is in sales, needs to be in sales, and is, quite honestly, expected to be involved in sales–including YOU. The term “sales” no longer applies to just the process of selling a product or service–it applies to almost every interaction you will have at work. Selling can be in many forms–you may be selling ideas to another department, designs to other staff, persuading your boss to try new things, using new skills to help your team–but your ability to encourage, persuade, change and motivate people to action is a skill that never goes unnoticed and is extremely valuable in today’s workplace. So how are your “sales” going? Selling yourself, selling your ideas, and selling your value and worth to this company are important sales that you need to be making every day.
The time when an employee could simply come to work, do the job and go home has passed. Now commitment, vision and top performance have become an integral part of every job. Are you creating visibility for yourself in your company? Do the people in decision-making roles know who you are and what you do that contributes to the success of your organization? If not, then begin today to change that. Begin by selling YOURSELF!
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