I’ll get right to the point.
If you’ve survived the first few cuts since the pandemic/stock market meltdown, the question you need to ask yourself is not, Can I continue to hold on to my job? It’s, Am I worth keeping?
I understand. It’s tough to think about this with total clarity with the elephant still in the room.
So let me throw you a rope.
The Seven Questions
Ask yourself right now:
- In addition to performance, what are my unique contributions to the company?
- Based on the current business environment are they enough to keep me employed?
- Does my manager agree these are critical additions to my portfolio?
- Does his boss?
- Can I believe what the CEO is saying about the company’s future? My future?
- How can I make it easier for my boss to be frank with me about the new normal?
- How do I become a member of the protected class?
Few of us are in a position to answer all of these questions.
So you’ll need to get busy.
Rely on Your Old Friend, EQ.
Take a deep breath.
Companies won’t necessarily reshuffle their value proposition during a period of global turbulence, but they will adopt new business models. And they’ll sculpt their employee-base to match talent to the new model.
That’s where the jeopardy lies.
Let out a sigh of self-pity. You deserve a moment in that space. It’s been a long haul.
But quickly reassess. Because this is an occasion to dig deeper. Change is a door opener. Walk through to the other side stocked with inquiries and actions that go beyond your myopic concern about performance anxiety.
Demonstrate a mature commitment to the business at-large by inspiring an insightful discourse with leadership.
First, however, brush up on that all-critical attribute, the one you don’t think about enough, emotional intelligence.
Here’s a primer.
Make good use of the following five key elements of emotional intelligence espoused by EQ guru, Daniel Goleman.
- Social skills
Your approach will be appreciated by management. They’re going through a tough time, too.
Watch this video. Author Bill Benjamin offers a brush-up on how to talk through pressure situations. Then check out his New York Times bestseller, Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most, here.
For a quick check-in on the fundamentals of emotional intelligence, (EQ or EI), go here.
The goal is to build trust over time.
Stay clear of a hit-and-run approach. A steady hand with intellect-rich questions indicates you’re a dependable thinker.
Assuming you’re already recognized as a solid performer, the following might be inferred by leadership:
- You understand the complexities of the current situation.
- You’re concerned about the greater good, not merely the measurement of your own performance.
- When it’s tough-going, you’re a lateral thinker. A problem-solver.
- You’re undoubtedly exhibiting the same discriminating qualities with critical clients.
- Sensitive information can be shared with you.
- You can be trusted in front of leadership.
- You’re a keeper.
These are the foundational building blocks that support longevity in the workplace. Solutions for the seven questions at the start of this post.
Be Smart. Keep Looking Toward the Distant Horizon
The job market forecast is for continued volatility.
You can’t necessarily solve this situation for yourself in a day, a week, or a month. But start to build keeper credibility now.
If you’re not in panic mode you’ll begin to sense changes in your relationship with leadership sooner than later.
Remember that change can be a quiet thing. Incremental progress is often revealed in subtle gestures. Assignment to a special project. Entrusted to handle a difficult account requiring a deft touch. A request to mentor a new hire. Honorable mentions at team meetings.
If you recognize the signs and show humble appreciation for the trust, you’re raising yourself up toward protected class status.
Review the seven questions. Start planning your strategy, now.
Here’s how I can help as your Coach.