Tough times present hidden opportunities for employees

It is not uncommon for employees who have witnessed a round of lay-offs to feel paralyzed or trapped, but that’s the perfect time for them to reinvent themselves. Tough times often present the hidden opportunity for employees to put other skills to work, to multi-task, handle various roles, if even to a small extent. Employees that are good at multi-tasking not only help the company keep up the work pace, but ensure that they are more useful to the firm and hence less at risk in the next wave of job cuts. If you are good at multi-tasking and you feel you can do part of a laid off colleague’s job, do head on to the boss’d office and let them know that you can help. Nothing helps like pitching in. A volunteer spirit demonstrates team-player skills, and team players support change. Taking on additional roles helps you gain insight info wider aspect of the business, increasing your knowledge of how the firm operates and what skills other tasks require. It also helps you to understand how your role at work connects with others. Plus, offering to take on additional responsibilities can help pave the way for a pay hike when things get back on track, and also add value to your CV.

It is important to let your bosses know what you are doing. From big and innovative projects to small, seemingly inconsequential task, make sure your bosses are aware that you are handling your share. Do not brag, or be brazen about it, just keep them informed. Letting your bosses know that you are pulling your own weight will help ensure your job safety in the long run. Keep them posted on a phone conversation you had with an important client, or cc your boss on a relevant email.

Be organized sharp, and quick on the job. Boost your CV. Plenty of people work and take supplementary courses as well. You could either pick-up an additional qualification or take a training course in a hobby.

Informal information that comes through the company grapevine is really your best bet to gauge the pulse of the firm. Often the first hint that a company is not doing as well as it should be, will come through the grapevine, and the sooner you know, the more prepared you will be for when rumors turn out to be fact. Do not however use the grapevine to speak ill of your colleagues. That kind of thing will almost certainly comes back to bite you in the behind.

Firing is often more subjective than objective. High Maintenance Employees (HME) are twice as likely to get fired as employees that are well liked by their colleagues and superiors. If you are the kind of person who is egoistical, refuses to help a coworker with a problem, brags about their achievements, and generally has an unpleasant attitude, chances are you are going to get it in the neck even if you do perform just as well as the next guy. Be as approachable as possible without being a doormat.

If you have asked a coworker for advice or help on a deadline, and together you will get the job done, do not forget to thank them. Every little thing contributes to keeping the atmosphere at work, ‘friendly’. It’s also a known fact that the first person that comes to mind in a positive light is somebody you like, not somebody who is just competent.

Things are never as bad as they seem, and every trough is followed by a peak. Follow the simple points and you will be well prepared for whatever the job market throws your way.