Uncertainty is inherent in the context of Business. Various factors influence the success or failure of a Business and few of them cannot be controlled.
Given this premise, the uncertainty certainly creeps into employees like you and me. With news of middle-management layoffs floating around, let’s take a step back and do some introspection.
Indispensability at Work
It refers to our own level of importance at work, with respect to the functioning of Business.
In other words, if we are gone tomorrow, what is the impact on the normal functioning of Business. Usually the indispensability comes from one or more of the following attributes:
- Possessing a special skill that is critical to the Business and difficult to replace
- Providing lot of value adds (mostly implicit) to the Business as part of normal work
- Garnering a great deal of respect from co-workers and leaving signals something wrong
- Demonstrating versatility and having the ability to seamlessly fit in every aspect of the Business
- Innovating and inspiring co-workers to do the same (a change leader)
This is not an exhaustive list, but nevertheless sufficient to give you a perspective.
In short, if our own position and performance cannot be differentiated from someone else – chances are high that we are dispensable.
If I am one of the above, am I really indispensable?
Sorry to say, but NO! The above factors can reduce the probability of laying you off, but does not eliminate it.
The best option is to anticipate the change and be always ready to embrace it.
Preparing yourself for Change
Now that the change did not happen yet, let’s look at some ways to prepare for it.
- Periodically review your skill sets
- Maintain an inventory of your skills and don’t restrict it to your current area of work. Work on your areas of interest and keep growing your skills
- Keep an open eye for secondary or part-time business opportunities. Remember the adage, don’t put all your eggs in the same basket? This holds good for your full time job as well
- Be a lifelong learner. With so many useful websites like Khan Academy, Coursera etc., there is no shortage of resources to learn whatever you like
How to embrace Change?
- The key lies in viewing change as something positive
- Confidence is another factor that helps in embracing change. Lack or absence is detrimental when a change happens
- Again, confidence comes from your ability and skill to get things going when something is terribly wrong
- Have a wider perspective of things. Think of everything that you can do if you lose your full time job. Take this as an opportunity to venture into areas of interest, which was not possible before
- Keep reminding yourself – though it appears difficult, things will get better after a while
Look at change as an opportunity to grow and do things that were not possible before. Only such a positive mindset will enable us to accept, embrace and exploit the change.