How to Increase Your Job Security
- Wednesday, December 15, 2010
How to Develop an Exceptional "Personal Brand" at Work
To be viewed as an exceptional employee, you not only need to do your job well, but you also need to take initiative to stand out from the other employees. Here are six strategies for increasing your value to your employer. These can bring you many positive benefits including increased job security and a bigger paycheck. Get started on becoming more valuable; choose one of these strategies to do today!
1. Be a problem-solver, not a problem-maker. Find out which problems your employer would most like to see solved. Discuss how you could address and help resolve these problems in your position.
2. Stand out by being a consistent contributor. On a regular basis ask yourself, "How can I make myself more useful here?" Become an "other-focused" person who is able to see opportunities where you can use your skills to solve problems, develop new clients, save the company money, etc.
3. Increase your value to the organization by doing what others won't. Volunteer for the necessary jobs or tasks that others do not want. While this does not sound like a lot of fun, you will find that employers will value you more than others who only do the least possible to fulfill their job responsibilities.
4. Solicit feedback from your boss. Asking him or her for feedback on your performance can increase respect for you as an employee. One helpful question is to ask how he or she evaluates "success" for your position. You may find that his or her responses are not represented in your job description. The rules for success in most companies are unwritten. You can learn them faster by asking this question and personally observing what successful people at your company are doing.
On at least a quarterly basis (and weekly or bi-weekly in the first month of a new job) ask your employer if you can set up a fifteen minute meeting. During this meeting ask how you are doing, and if there are any ways you can improve your performance on the job. Then be silent and write down anything they tell you. If they state you are doing a great job, you can ask what, in particular, stands out to them. Document the information, as it is useful in knowing what your boss values. If he or she tells suggests improving in some area, write it down. Ask for specific suggestions for how you can do better in this area. Don't become defensive even if you feel the feedback is off base. Recognize that somehow this is your boss' perception, and you need to do something to change their impression.
5. Develop a solid portfolio that documents your value to the organization. Keep a record of what you do each day (or week), highlighting your accomplishments. Don't assume that your boss knows all that you do. Use this documentation for updating your resume, building your self-confidence, preparing for performance evaluations and making a case for requested pay raises or promotions.
6. Keep current in your professional knowledge and skills. Knowledgeable, skillful employees are valuable employees. Take advantage of professional development opportunities such as conferences, training, certifications or additional degrees. Read professional and industry trade journals, reports and books. Successful people are committed to learning. Invest in yourself so others will want to invest in you!
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