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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 strategies.

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 functions/disciplines.

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.”

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