Four Ways to Increase Your Value as an Employee During A Crisis
The US unemployment rate soared to 4.4 percent in March 2020, rising above expectation of 3.8 percent and creeping past the highest since 2016, as the Covid-19 crisis put 26 million Americans out of work. Whether you’re already employed or you’re looking for a job, it’s never a bad idea to look for ways to increase your value to current or future employers. It’s important to make sure that you are an indispensable asset to your company, especially in times of crisis. Here are four ways to increase your value:
Fix your attitude. The easiest and quickest way to increase your value to a company is to fix your attitude. When circumstances get overwhelming and stressful, it’s easy to come with a fight or flight response or respond with negative emotions, but employers are looking for people who can not only do the job but also encourage their coworkers to have a positive outlook on the situation at the same time. Deciding to have a better attitude at work only requires a shift in your mindset.
Meet and surpass expectations. All jobs have basic requirements, whether you know them or not. Some companies will have very clear-cut job descriptions and specifications, so you know exactly where you stand at every moment. On the other hand, some companies do not have clear requirements or expectations for your position. If you fall into the latter category, then the best way to make sure you are meeting and surpassing your expectations is to speak with your manager.
Certify your skills. If you’re in between employment, this is the time for you to increase your skills. Seek out certifications for the skills you already have, and don’t hesitate to take classes for new skills. Because of current job losses and stay-at-home orders, people are faced with more free time than they have ever had, and it’s important to make the most out of it. As you continue applying for new positions, the question from hiring managers will become “how have you made the best of quarantine times”, and you want to have a concrete answer for them.
Be innovative. Bill Gates said, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” You want to be that lazy person. Even if you’ve been at your job for a long time, there is no reason you can’t make improvements to an already-established process. Particularly if business is slow during this pandemic, this is the time to look at the current systems and see how they can be automated. If you’re not tech-savvy, you can still evaluate common workplace procedures and make them more efficient either by reordering steps or combining simple tasks.
It’s natural to be concerned about your employment status during these unprecedented times, but the best way to ensure your position in the company is to make sure that you are steadily increasing your value. If you are currently out of work, it’s important to make sure that you are still improving yourself through certifications and continued learning, so that when you are ready to go back to an employed position, you already know how you can benefit your workplace.