With the threat of a recession looming, it isn’t surprising that many companies are taking action and letting employees go. This is an unfortunate reality, as thousands of people are now being pushed into a volatile job market that is only becoming more competitive. While some layoffs will be inevitable, understanding how to make yourself indispensable in your current role may make the difference between remaining employed or not. So what can you do to take that extra initiative and demonstrate just how valuable you are?
Taking the time to go out of your way and connect with your senior managers or C-suite executives whenever possible will not go unnoticed. This is especially true if you work for a larger organization in which it isn’t assumed that everybody knows each other. Not only does this show exemplary initiative, but if your company does have to lay off staff members, it doesn’t hurt to ensure that the people making those decisions can put a face to your name and attest to your abilities.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Stay engaged during meetings and actively seek out the information that you need. Build out a skill set by picking your coworkers’ brains and building relationships. Take courses on subjects that are unfamiliar to you that may improve your work; maybe you want to obtain a new marketing certification or learn the basics of coding. People will take notice of your consistent engagement; when they see you putting in the effort to better yourself, they will be more eager to support you in those endeavors.
If you’re bringing something to the table that nobody else is, you have an instant advantage. You never know when a unique skill will become beneficial for your company, so why not get ahead of the curve so you can be ready when the time comes? It will be far more difficult to say goodbye to an employee that provides a certain value that nobody else does. Keep an eye out for a gap within your company that you can fill, and become the point person for it. This solidifies your role on your team and shows a willingness to perform above and beyond to get the job done.
Members of your team must know that you are reliable. If you are regularly forgetting to complete tasks, or your quality of work is constantly fluctuating, it will only make others’ jobs more difficult and you will appear untrustworthy. It’s difficult to justify keeping someone on the team that is consistently letting others down, so be diligent and do what you can to make yourself available and always produce high-quality work.
Nobody likes a coworker with a poor attitude. No matter your role, there are bound to be times that you are doing work you aren’t passionate about. Being adaptable and pitching in even with the most mundane of tasks demonstrates your willingness to work towards a common goal and help your team succeed.
It is much easier to stay on track when you have clear organizational processes that you adhere to. Invest in a daily planner and structure your days so that you can make the most of your working hours to guarantee that you won’t forget any significant deadlines. If you work from home, have a dedicated office space and keep it free of clutter. A clean space allows you to have a clear mind, making the workday that much more productive.
If the worst-case scenario happens and you do face being laid off, it may benefit you to have a readily available log of all of your achievements and responsibilities within your role. Keep a document for yourself and update it regularly with notable tasks and details about your work. This allows you to attest to the value that you have added to your company and state your case as to why you should remain on the team. This may not guarantee that you’ll be spared, but it is also excellent information to reference in future job interviews – though hopefully, it won’t ever come to that!
Many people are facing economic uncertainty during these unprecedented times, and employers are no exception. Sometimes, layoffs are necessary and unavoidable, but you can certainly put your best foot forward to avoid an unfavorable outcome.