Everyone is nervous about everything right now, including the economy and how that may affect their employment status. Some companies are doing mass layoffs and salary reductions. You don’t want to be unemployed right now because businesses aren’t going to be as quick to hire – they want to see how the coronavirus pandemic will affect their bottom line – and new projects will likely be put on hold for the foreseeable future.
It’s never been more important to be the model employee and to go above and beyond. Don’t give your company a reason to doubt your commitment or work product.
Here are a few tips to bulletproof your job now that you can carry into the future.
- Do not act high maintenance or difficult – don’t ask for a raise right now and do what is asked of you.
- Even if working from home while homeschooling two kids and having a dog to walk is stressing you out, maintain composure and be as easy going as you possibly can. The benefit with working from home is that you will likely be more productive at off times – such as the time you used to commute and spent catching up with co-workers or in the evening after the kids are asleep. Most employers understand your long list of personal responsibilities because they are in the same boat as you.
- Be truly exceptional in your current role – work harder than you’ve ever worked before.
- Make sure your superiors know about your contributions and successes but be careful not to communicate this information in a boastful way.
- Mentor junior members of the team and be a calming presence to them as so many of them are struggling with anxiety right now.
- Demonstrate you can do the next role by taking on key responsibilities of that position.
- Become indispensable to your manager and seize learning opportunities to take projects off their plate.
- Lead by example by always showing optimism, assuming positive and good intent and helping others – especially through tough times.
- Don’t complain about problems or air your frustrations with the current situation – instead design and implement solutions that drive real results.
- Forget your job description and title – this is the time to what is required for the business – don’t let your current job description hold you back from doing.
- Handle disappointment with grace and don’t let it hold you back from success.
- Remember this is just a temporary difficult time – things will get better and go back to “normal” – working at home and under such stress will be a memory in a few years.
- Do your part to build up internal culture – suggest a virtual happy hour or coffee break, offer to take on creation of an internal e-newsletter if you don’t have one, offer weekly check-in” office hours to your direct reports and anyone else junior to you who could benefit from your advice.
- Be kind and empathetic to everyone and don’t take anything personally right now. Everyone is stressed and that doesn’t always bring out the best in us – give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt and let it roll off your shoulders.
Stay smart and stay safe – this too shall pass.