How do you keep on believing and delivering your best to your
employer amidst fears of being laid off? How do you do
everything you can to keep your job? How can you even get a
promotion in these tough times when budgets are frozen and
salaries are being cut?
The poem that stands out in tough times, is "IF" by Rudyard
Kipling. Find it online and read it again if you haven't
look it over in the recent past. The opening lines are "If
you can keep your head when all about you are losing their
and blaming it on you...". Let's not kid ourselves - it is
hard to go through rounds of layoffs.
Here is what I have learned over the past 26 years of
full-time employment. I wish that I could take credit for
all of this, but in truth, I have learned this advice
from other people.
1. Be visible. Even
though your metaphorical rubber stamping process in the back
office is the best in the world, you are less likely to be
promoted if no-one knows you. Help out where ever you can
and volunteer for cross-departmental activities. Talk to
people in other departments and build professional
relationships to become known.
2. Get a professional coach.
You can't see your blind spots even if they are painfully
obvious to your colleagues and your manager. Your minimal
financial investment will pay off in spades when you become
aware of your blind spots and take appropriate action. Your
professional coach will also help you see new opportunities
that you are overlooking and nudge you into taking advantage
of these opportunities.
3. Look for a mentor.
Pay attention to seniors in your office. If you are a
project manager, look around for program managers with
experience in your organization. Then ask if you can bounce
ideas around before you take decisions. Respect your
mentor's time and remember that you are
still independent while you take your mentor's advice into
4. Never eat lunch alone.
Read a book on how to network. Then set a target of having
lunch with someone everyday so that you can build mutually
beneficial relationships. Learn about their area of the
organization and seek to add value to the relationship.
5. Don't complain.
How do you feel when co-workers complain to you about
everything. Do you want to hear their opinions on the lack
of parking, the lousy salary or price of gas? I bet that you
do not want to hear other people complain. Then don't
complain either. Be part of a solutions not part of a
6. Get involved in your industry
association. Join your local chapter of PMI
(if you are a Project Manager). Then volunteer to join a
committee. Show people that you are involved in advancing
your profession. Make friends at these events.
There you have it. Six simple steps to help you be a valued
employee which places you in the admirable position of
earning a promotion in tough times. Keep your head while all
about you are losing theirs.