In tough times - work like a true professional
Globally recession has taken its toll on businesses and will continue
to do so in 2009. In such a situation, it is quite possible that
employees will resort to unprofessional behaviour to safeguard their
jobs. However, in these tough times being a true pro will be the best
insurance policy for effective and efficient work.
What are the strategies that will help you think more proactively and
become a valuable asset to your organisation? Given below are possible
Have a clear and free mind
Think clearly and view situations objectively. Evaluate possible
options and consequences available rationally and come up with workable
solutions. Always listen to others point-of-view, but do not be swayed
to agree easily, by what they say and think.
In order to have a clear and free mind, you need to learn to unlearn,
as much as you learn.
Set clear and objective targets
Targets help you to stay focused and effective - you do the right
thing rather than do things right. Targets also provide you a clear
picture of where you are heading.
Improve your skills
This is extremely important, specially in difficult times. By
committing yourself to improve your skills, you are giving yourself the
best chance of being gainfully employed.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses and work towards overcoming
your weaknesses and consolidating your strengths. You must be productive
in this regard.
Align your personal goals with organisational goals
Firstly, try and understand your “job” and your “role”. Thereafter,
perform the job and your role to the expectations of the organisation.
By meeting organisational goals, you also develop your own career goals,
as the management begins to take notice of your skills and gives you
more responsibilities. In difficult times, organisational goals may take
precedence over your personal goals.
Be Multifaceted in Your Ability
To use cricketing parlance, tough times require effective “All
rounders.” i.e. multi-skilled and multifaceted persons. It is harder to
get rid of an employee who has capabilities in many operational
Plan, organise and prepare
Thomas Edison said “If you fail to plan, then you are planning to
fail.” In tough times contrary to popular belief, planning is very
essential. When resources are scarce, shouldn’t you plan how to spend
these resources effectively.
Apart from planning, you also have to prepare yourself to face the
challenges around you. A positive attitude, where obstacles are looked
at as opportunities, should be developed.
Execute what you plan (stop talking, start doing)
In tough times, execution skills are important. Delaying to implement
what is planned or not implementing it effectively, will be detrimental
both to the organisation and yourself. Never forget that performance is
the yard stick for corporate performance, even-more-so in tough economic
conditions. The ability to tap on the capabilities of others to help
execute strategy should not be forgotten.
Stay vigilant to changes around you
The best way to stay vigilant is to keep abreast of what is happening
around you politically, economically and socially. It may be useful to
note your thoughts and feelings and then examine to what extent they
were correct or otherwise. In tough situations, gut feelings or
intuition may help you get through trying times. Hence, it pays to
selectively listen and trust your instincts.
Focus on Effectiveness
Efficacy is about producing a desired result. This involves doing
some thing efficiently and effectively. Which one is important in tough
times? Ideally both, but if a choice has to be made, I would go for
effectiveness. (Doing the right thing).
There are many people who are highly efficient but totally
ineffective. This is because they have not figured out what their
priorities are. Instead, they focus on tasks that are not important,
while the real problems remain unresolved. (which you simply cannot
afford in difficult economic times).
Collaborate with others, rather than competing
Look at the strategic alliances that are taking place in the world of
business. Why? This is because no single organisation however powerful
they may be, will have the resources to compete in highly complex and
uncertain business environments. The same applies to you as well.
Develop the ability to collaborate with others in your organisation.
This is crucial because you need to get things done with the help and
support of other people.
Remember that in today’s complicated work place, your reputation as a
team player will stand you in good stead.
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
“Keep your personal brand relevant at all times.”