3 Things You Need to Do Now to Protect Your Job

entrepreneurship personal branding women and work Apr 16, 2020

So many people are worried about job security. We are living in hard, unprecedented times and companies around the world are having to make tough decisions. I want to begin by saying that layoffs are happening at a high rate and being laid off is not a reflection of you or your work. My intention is to show you how you can position yourself well to the people making tough decisions and seeing things through their point of view.

If your job is at risk - and even if it’s not - here are the 3 things you need to do right now:

  1. Know how your role is tied to the business plan. This helps you when deciding which tasks are most important to focus on and changes the way you talk about your work to your leadership. There is research (conducted by Lee Hecht Harrison) that shows that women in the most senior positions made a point of knowing this throughout their career. In good times this will help you grow your career, in tough times it helps you protect your job.

    It’s not enough to just say, “I help the business make or save money” — I want you to get specific. Know the exact goal and business objectives that your work falls under. Start to track your impact and relate it to the results of the business plan. The next step is to talk about your work in terms of the results you are achieving or the results you are supporting that impact the. business plan.

    As Annette Verschuren says: “Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more saleable, promotable or valuable than your ability to take massive action and deliver results.” Translation: knowing which actions to take and understanding the results that matter most to your company help your manager sell you as necessary to the company’s success.

  2. Change how you communicate with your boss. I’ve chatted with a few leaders and asked how they like working from home. They say they don’t miss the commute but they are frustrated because they spend more time than usual on calls with their team and it makes it harder for them to get their own work done.

    Be mindful of how often you’re reaching out to your boss. You want to stay top of mind but you don’t want to go to them when you have problems. Offer to host a weekly meeting for your teammates without your boss. It’s a time to connect with one another, help each other overcome challenges and give updates on work that the entire team’s a part of. This will hopefully cut down on the amount of time your boss spends answering questions or hosting meetings. It also positions you as helpful and as a leader.

    You can also send your boss a weekly email updating them on this meeting and your work. This will take time at first, but once it becomes a habit you’ll get it done much faster! I’m working on another post on how to do it so stay tuned for the link!

  3. Ask for direct feedback. This has two major benefits. The first is that it will help you grow as a professional and do your job better. It also shows your boss and colleagues that you care enough to ask them — so I guess there are actually THREE benefits!

    The next reason is about contingency planning. While you are still employed and have access to people, ask them some questions about you. (Record what they say in a document or device you own.) Getting feedback is huge. It helps you understand what’s important to people so that you can build more trust with them, it helps you see gaps in your work or your working style that you aren’t aware of, and it tells you where you’re excelling.

    In the event that you get laid off you have a better idea of what’s important to people in your industry. You can use that information to help you write your resume and cover letter. Assuming you received positive feedback (because let’s face it, you’re awesome!), ask that person to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn, and use their words as a confidence boost.

Like I said, being laid off — especially during a pandemic and global economic crisis — is not a reflection of you or your amazing skills. You still have a bright future ahead of you. I’d love to know what else you are doing to protect your job.

What steps are you taking to make sure people know how important you and your work are? Let me know in the comments below. Please share this article with your friends. You don’t always know who’s stressing out and who would feel better by taking action.



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