Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5 Ways to Make Your Personal Brand “Indispensable"

In the turbulent, toss-about world of work in America, all kinds of people are worried about their positions. Who among us hasn't seen a helpful, smart, hard-working person get laid off? Being let go is not for last-place performers anymore. Everyone is at risk.

Can you avoid this? You can sure try. While no one may guarantee you a job these days, here are five tips from the Harvard Business Review on making your personal brand indispensable.

  1. Talk Directly to Your Manager - Lay it all out on the table and sincerely ask for advice from your boss about your situation. You're not asking them to butter you up or paint a rosy picture. You're asking for the truth. You should take control of this process. In this meeting you should ask two questions. First, what can I improve upon? Second, what additional things can I do to help you do your job better?
  2. Learn Other People's Jobs - It sounds calculating, but it's true. If you can do the work of two, you have a better chance of out-staying your peers. As with any worthwhile fitness program, you must cross-train for greater strength and resiliency.
  3. Be Profitable - If you're not clear how your work either makes the company money or cuts costs - or both - you'd be wise to figure that out soon. If you need help, talk to trusted friends, coworkers and even your boss. Letting your boss know that you're trying to improve your contribution to the bottom line can't hurt. Plus, it's a reminder of how essential you are.
  4. Toot Your Own Horn - Loudly! - No one appreciates arrogance, but staying quiet about your contributions isn't wise right now. Whatever you do to move the company forward - stay late to complete a project, have a great call with a client, train someone else in a new skill or improve your output - make sure that your boss knows about it. Your resourcefulness and willingness to work hard are attributes most managers want to keep in-house.
  5. Rise Up and Take Command - Amidst the devastation that layoffs leave behind, you have a unique opportunity to collect the remaining pieces and move quickly into management. Be the phoenix. This could be your opportunity to rise to the top. When departments are combined, take advantage of a re-shuffled deck. Management will be looking for new leaders to prevail. Plus, that way, when the company is back on its feet, you'll be a time-tested veteran who helped lead everyone through the worst of times. Your job could be more secure and well-paid than ever.

No comments: