20 Sep Be a Keeper: What You Can Do to Help You Keep Your Job
If you’re a business owner or a salesperson then you know that keeping a client is almost always easier than getting a new one. But although you hear and read a lot about how to get a new job, you hear less about how to keep your job. If you’re currently employed, you are likely concerned about the security of your present job. There are no guarantees — some things are simply beyond your control. But, when it comes down to tough choices, you can do your best to be one who doesn’t make the cut (in a good way).
There are things you can do to help you keep your job.
Constant confidence. There are a thousand reasons why it’s important to be a confident employee – just one of them is it could help you keep your job. Act as if you are totally confident — that you are useful, productive and someone that people want to work with. (If for some reason any of that isn’t true, you need to make it a priority to change that.)
If you are a good employee and have no reason to doubt it, don’t appear worried or anxious for no reason. People do sense these things, and it’s natural to assume where there is smoke, there is fire.
So avoid being paranoid. Stop wondering why you were or weren’t given a particular project or assignment. Just keep showing up, physically and mentally, to do a great job in the here and now. As long as you are getting positive feedback, assume the best.
Bring solutions, not problems. Companies prefer employees who find ways to improve current situations or sustain things that are going well. It’s not wrong to point out issues or challenges. But whenever possible, bring suggestions for change in addition to the problem.
If you only bring a problem to your boss, now it’s another thing on their plate. If you can proactively both identify a need and offer a solution, well, you’re a hero. Heroes keep their jobs (or, at least, people want them to).
When you get an assignment, listen carefully, take notes and then review as soon as possible. Bosses do not always have time to spoon feed information. If you are missing details, see if it’s easily available and get it yourself. You may not be immediately clear about an assignment or project — take the time to identify exactly what you need. Initially, it is up to you to listen intently, take notes and then see if you have questions.
If appropriate, you can send a brief email summarizing the assignment as you understand it, and ask if anything is incorrect. This will indicate to your boss that you engaged in some critical thinking, as well as some independence. And the exercise of writing it up will often provide clarity in itself. Worst case scenario, you have a record of the request if you do make a mistake.
Positively protected. It is simply human nature to want to be around people who are positive. Do your best to maintain a pleasant attitude. If you’re not in a good mood, fake it. Seriously.
No one expects you to never have a bad day, but it is easier to put people who are unpleasant at the top of a list of layoffs. Even if your work product is as good, or slightly better than a colleague, the perception can be you are less valuable, simply because it feels like more work to interact with you.
Positive communication is a very tactical yet powerful way to keep your job. Semantics matter. Frame things in a positive way. “A can-do” attitude will go a long way, even when situations may be challenging.
If you need resources for a project, don’t say “I can’t do this until I get these resources.” Instead, say, “Of course, I can do this. Here is a way I can get the resources I need.” Simple. But important.
To keep your job, make yourself worth keeping.
If you want to keep your job, start showing others that you are worth it. If it sounds like too much work, then it might be to time to think about whether you want to move on. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – and better to leave on your own terms. Will these tips save your job? No, not necessarily. But, by applying them, it might at least make people take a second look. Worst case, if you do lose your job, you will feel good you did your best, you are more likely to get support from your employer in your search, and most importantly, you should have no regrets.