Navigating Corporate Change – 5 Tips to Becoming Invaluable During Uncertain Times
One thing that everyone can always count on is that change is coming. Every workplace is surrounded by uncertainty – from organizational change, shrinking budgets, and headcount cuts to corporate mergers and inevitable layoffs when profits dip. How can you navigate constant change? What is the best way to make sure that you will be able to steer towards the top when inevitable change arrives?
What separates those who survive and ultimately thrive in these turbulent environments? Becoming invaluable is the key to career success and longevity. If you can position yourself to be irreplaceable and intrinsically critical to your division’s or company’s success, then you will be on the short list of future company leaders.
Here are five tips to help you charter a course towards increasing professional achievement.
1. Know Your Real Job – It’s to Make Your Boss’ Job Easier
Most people fail to truly understand what their job really is at its core. It is to make your boss’ job a lot easier, take things off her plate, solve problems, and troubleshoot issues. Everyone is busy and has plenty on their plate – and this includes your boss and those around you. Your boss and colleagues need to know they can trust you with various tasks and that you will do an excellent job solving problems for the team.
This does not mean you cannot ask questions as they arise or when you need guidance and clarification. However, before seeking assistance, you should first resolve as much as possible, think through solutions beforehand, and come to the table with proposals.
If the way you tackle tasks, the quality of your work-product causes others to assume some of your responsibilities, or you somehow force colleagues to pause in order to get deep in the weeds with you on things you should be addressing, then you are failing in your job. Your goal should be to become your boss’ right-hand person. As an employee, you do not want to occupy too much of your boss’ time. If so, you will be seen as a burden. The more you are able to think of ways to help your boss and ease her workload, the more she will count on you. She will see you as a key partner whom she can trust.
2. Offer Solutions & Avoid Just Presenting Problems
Anyone can point out what is wrong or needs fixing. What people appreciate are solutions and the people who propose them. If you are helpful by presenting resolutions when issues arise or think of creative ways to address standing hurdles, you will gain the respect of those around you. You will be seen as an “ideas person” or “creative problem solver” who is important to your team’s success.
Avoid being that annoying person who always points out the negative. Instead, aim to be a positive force by creatively fixing what might be broken.
3. Go the Extra Mile
Managers cherish employees that are dependable and go the extra mile for the team. Take pride in your work and never seek to just do what is required. Step it up and put in a few extra hours to make sure your presentation or analysis goes deeper than what most would expect. While you should avoid brownnosing, you should have a strong work ethic. Raise your hand for increased responsibility when you have extra time. Build a reputation where people know you deliver quality results – even if it means putting in more effort than your peers.
4. Be a Thought Leader
Your brand at work is important, but so is your reputation outside of your office. Become a thought leader within your industry. Build a name for yourself that reflects positively on your employer. You can do this by speaking on panels, writing articles, giving presentations, getting interviewed, and blogging. If you can establish yourself as a leader, people will have confidence in your decision-making. You will be seen as a rising expert, which may go noticed and recognized by your employer.
5. Have a Good Attitude
There is nothing worse than working with someone with a bad attitude. No matter how smart you are, if you walk around with a negative cloud over your head, people will not want to work with you. If people cannot stand being around you because your attitude is draining, people will try to get rid of you when the opportunity first presents itself.
People like working with positive and happy people. We spend a lot of time at work, and we want those hours to be as pleasant as possible. If a manager has to decide between who to lay off or who to promote, the person to advance will be the one who is likable, less prickly, and that no one wants to abandon at the airport when traveling for work.
While these five strategies cannot guarantee you will survive organizational change, they will better position you. They will increase the likelihood that your company and boss will perceive you as being indispensable. Whether or not your company is going through a rocky time, you should always strive to implement these strategies – they will help you advance professionally in any role.
The Azara Group (TAG) is a consulting firm that promotes the development of leaders in an increasingly competitive and diverse marketplace – providing strategy consulting services and leadership training services to advance professional and life success. TAG leverages expertise in career strategy, diversity, negotiation skills, and business acumen to provide strategic advice and consulting services to help people and organizations get what they want, achieve their goals, and advance their business and career objectives. TAG also helps companies better attract, retain, and promote diverse talent, and develop robust diversity platforms and strategies to create a more inclusive workplace.
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