Super Staying Power: How Not to Lose Your Job
By Caroline M.L. Potter, Yahoo! HotJobs
You hear a lot about how to get a new job, but do you hear enough about how to keep the one you've got? Now more than ever, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Just as with the dating world, you're always more attractive to a professional suitor when you've already got a position. So, how can you hang on to the job you've got in these still-tough times?
"If you start by thinking, 'What are the things I need to do not to lose my job?' you'll wind up on the unemployment line," says Jason Seiden, author of Super Staying Power: What You Need to Become Valuable and Resilient at Work.
Instead, he advises workers to recognize that the old world is gone. "There is flux all the time," he says. "This ambiguity is permanent."
Use these strategies to embrace the unknown and thrive amid the chaos of your current position.
"Work as if you are totally confident that your job is there forever," says Seiden, a leadership and career-development expert. That's a tall order, but, "if you bring worry into work, people are going to smell it," he says.
He recommends avoiding entertaining paranoia at every turn, wondering why you were or weren't given a particular project or assignment. "Even if you see [that your job is not going to last], you have to put blinders on," he says. Just keep showing up, physically and mentally, to do a great job in the here and now.
Don't Ask for Clarity
Nobody seems to get enough feedback or direction these days, and if your workplace is in flux, as many are, you'll probably get even less. Get over it, says Seiden. "When a worker asks for 'all the details' about a project, her boss is going to see a lack of critical thinking, a lack of being able to handle ambiguity." She'll see a lack of independence as well.
He urges professionals to create their own environments at work and resolve problems themselves, "whether your boss is a micromanager or not."
Use Positive Language
"This is also very tactical and very powerful," Seiden says. "Semantics matter. You need to frame things in the positive." A can-do attitude will help you go the distance, even when things are strained.
"If you need a resource for a project, don't tell your boss, 'I can't do this until I get this resource.' Instead, say, "Of course, I can do this, and I'm going to need this resource.' It's a simple thing that can save your job," Seiden says.
"If you think about the people you like spending time with, you'll realize how powerful positive language can be," he adds.
Find Passion Where You Are
Don't daydream about the market improving enough for you to jump ship and pursue your passion. "Stop looking for your dream job, and start creating it where you are," Seiden says. "You don't follow your passions; you cultivate them. Passion is fire in your belly that starts as kindling. Settle in, get your fire burning, and create the job you want right now."
He suggests setting small goals you can accomplish every day. "Most jobs are not that exciting, but if you focus on everyday goals, you'll gain satisfaction from that," he says. Start feeling good about getting your part done in your current job and then think about whether you want to move on. "Most people never give their job a chance," Sieden says.
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- Get Back into the Swing of Things with Your Career home
- Four Expert Career Tips for Fall
- Fall Is 'Back-to-Search' Time
- Should You Look for a New Job Now?
- Super Staying Power: How Not to Lose Your Job
- Coping Strategies for a New Job and Work Schedule
- How to Handle Being a New Hire
- Heading Back to School?