Many people feel comfortable in their jobs. They feel good about their job security, and may not realize that they are making themselves expendable at work. One of the best things you can do for your career — and your earning power — is to evaluate your current status. The last thing you want is to be one of the first people laid off. Here are some signs that you might be encouraging the view that you are expendable:
Complacency and a Sense of Entitlement
After awhile, it is easy to feel a sense of entitlement about your job. You might start thinking that you “deserve” your current career, and you might begin feeling complacent in your job duties. However, the ideas that everything is fine just the way it is, and that you are entitled to your job, can be poison for your career.
Instead, you need to show your value by reaching for challenges, and getting out of the same old rut. Show that you are working hard, rather than feeling entitled. Realize that in these economic times, “deserving” a job is about more than just showing up and adhering strictly to the job description. Push yourself to go above and beyond, and you will be seen as more valuable.
Some of the first people to go when lay offs are announced are those with poor attitudes. During times of economic difficulty, morale is more important than ever. If you are an emotional drain on your colleagues — and even on your bosses — you might find yourself one of the first to be shown the exit. Shape up your attitude, and become the person that people turn to when they need a boost. If you can provide that emotional support, you will be seen as more valuable.
You want to be seen as confident and competent. This means that you need to pay attention to your appearance. While we like to say that the outside doesn’t matter, the truth is that how you look has an impact on how others perceive you. While you don’t want to come across as arrogant, you do want to portray confidence. You can do this by standing up straight, making appropriate eye contact, and practicing good grooming habits.
If you come to work slouching and sloppy, you might be perceived as someone who can’t quite hack it. Your image as someone you can handle challenges, and who looks ready to tackle the tough assignments, will help your bosses view you as irreplaceable.
While there have been some modest improvements lately in the employment situation lately, the job market is far from recovered. Companies are still laying people off, and you don’t want to be one of those in trouble at work. As a result, it is vital that you do what you can to show your value to your employer.
And, of course, it never hurts to refresh your network outside of work and brush up your resume. You never know when you might need to look for a new job.