Are you Indispensable or Expendable?

If the Covid 19 crisis has highlighted anything for employees it’s the uncomfortable truth that when a crisis does hit, nobody’s role is necessarily safe. 

So how can you safeguard your job? Well, you can’t guarantee it, but there are certainly steps you can take to show your boss that you’re a valuable asset and that the business would be worse off for letting you go.

Be proactive. Most redundancies occur without prior consultation with an employee, so don’t count on being able to talk your way out of losing your job if a decision has already been made. Set a meeting with your workplace superiors to discuss your role before they do. You may need to be prepared to offer a reduction in hours, or a period of unpaid leave if the company is facing financial stress. 

Prepare. Get out your job description and really study it. Chances are you’ve probably forgotten aspects of it and you’re simply in a habit of doing your job every day. Is there anything you’re overlooking or could do better? Is there a specific skill-set that you’re in sole possession of? Perhaps you can offer to expand your role to include extra duties.

Keep a Record. Don’t assume that your boss recalls every great idea you’ve had or every achievement you’ve accomplished. It’s up to you to keep records. Speaking up in meetings and having your recommendations and results recorded in the minutes is handy if appropriate.  Keep a document of ideas you can take credit for, clients you’ve brought on, or increases in revenue you’re responsible for… Anything that shows that without you, the company may not have benefited as it did. 

Be accountable. Be ready to communicate not only sets you apart from others in a positive manner, but also how you’re capable of continuing to perform your role to a standard that your boss won’t want to do without. You know your job better than anyone else and unfortunately that can mean that your boss isn’t aware of all the amazing things you do.

It’s up to you to prove your worth – no one else will advocate for you as well. 

Upskill. Employees who take it upon themselves to enhance and refine their skills are desirable. Do some extra study after hours to sharpen your skill-set, and make sure to communicate appropriately that you’re doing this. If the worst does happen and your boss simply isn’t in a position to keep you on, you’re already on your way to setting yourself apart from other candidates applying for roles elsewhere. 

 

 

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