Hold on to Your Job

 

Eight Building Blocks to Succeeding at Work

Economic turbulence. Sluggish job market. Competitive workplace.  These words may have you tossing and turning on your pillow at night conjuring up images of your job on the chopping block. But it might help you to stop staring wide-eyed in fear at night if you take specific actions to increase your chances of achieving job success, and building a career that will make the future seem more rosy than scary.

Initiative

Be open to challenge and show you are willing to take on new projects. As you work with, and observe senior level staff or your manager, determine how you might be able to assist them and further the organization’s mission.  Then suggest how you can employ your particular talents and skills to help achieve important goals.

Innovation

In a world of rapid change, there is always room for new ideas or fresh approaches for the potential to streamline costs, increase efficiency or enhance marketability.  Creative thinking skills are in high demand. This adventurous approach may result in your coming up with an idea that might offer a perfect solution to a problem or improve a process.

Recognition

Don’t expect your efforts and accomplishments to be magically acknowledged.  Keep your boss, supervisors, senior leaders and colleagues aware of the energy you are putting forth on a project and keep them posted on your progress.  If you include everyone on your radar, they will have a better idea of the scope, skill and time required to successfully complete the project or a major task.  For special accomplishments, update your LinkedIn contact list. You might grab the attention of a future employer or senior leaders in your field.

Connect with Thought Leaders

Discover who the visionaries or experts are in your organization or industry and meet them online or in person.  Doing this provides a great opportunity to learn more about current and future trends and opens the door to getting advice on how to advance in your career.  Don’t be intimidated by an industry leader’s position or experience; most successful professionals enjoy mentoring or providing advice and the reality is that most people just plain like to talk about themselves.

Support from Colleagues

Building and maintaining strong relationships with coworkers can prove to be highly beneficial when you are struggling with a problem or grappling with a challenging project.  Coworker support can be invaluable in helping your through difficult periods as they bolster your confidence and provide helpful advice and suggestions. In addition to building supportive relationships on the job, don’t hesitate to extend and expand your support system to other professionals in the field via networking events, LinkedIn and Twitter and professional associations. At all costs, avoid building counter-productive relationships that are based on bashing your boss or other colleagues.

Continue to Expand your Knowledge and Skills

If you don’t keep up with all the changes in technology, you will be left behind, so stay up to date on any programs or computer tools used in your workplace. Take advantage of any opportunity to strengthen your technical or job related skills. Read professional and trade journals and have discussions with your boss or senior leaders on current topics to demonstrate your interest and knowledge.

Confront Problems

Deal with conflicts head on and don’t let them fester. If you think your boss is upset with you, don’t go into hiding. You might approach your boss diplomatically by saying, “I have a feeling that you were disappointed with the way I handled the situation last week and I would like to talk with you about your observations and how I might approach this problem differently next time.” 

Work Ethic

Perhaps one the most ignored and important ways to succeed at your job is to demonstrate that you are responsible and conscientious and perform your tasks with integrity and a strong sense of professionalism. There is no replacement for being prompt to meetings, polite to both support and senior staff and completing your tasks with care and in a timely manner.

In a volatile job market, there is no guarantee that your job won’t be eliminated in the future even if you are a star performer.  However building a strong reputation in your field will lead the way to new opportunities in the future.