Imagine that for some reason, your employer wants to keep say only two out of your team of three or four or five people. Your survival will be put to test. It will depend on several factors. Some of the factors you can control but others you cannot.
One of the factors that you may not control is if simply one of those in the decision making machinery does not like you or seriously wants you out. We will not discuss that scenario here. Rather, we want to focus on what you can control. Make your job count.
In the end, as your superiors consider whether to keep or not to keep you, they will focus on the combined factors of your job and your value to the organisation. They have to benchmark the value and impact of your role compared to the others. If your role stands out, chances are that you will remain, provided your performance is also good. Why should management remove your role if it counts in the organisation? They cannot.
Of course, if your performance is not great but your job counts, they may choose to remove you and bring in another person who is a great performer with great future potential but holding a job that does not count as much as yours.
But let us not lose focus. We want to dwell on the need to make your job count. That if your job counts may help you retain your job when jobs are being cut is only one of the many benefits of making your job count. If you make your job count, chances are that you will greatly boost your chance for promotion.
When management teams are considering people for promotion, their minds will quickly turn to those members of staff who hold jobs that count to the business. Thirdly, you make yourself very marketable by making your job count. It is obvious that if your job counts, the competing organisations will quickly learn that you are a key pillar to the success of your organisation.
This means that you may be approached for better career opportunities across the bridge or indeed your employer may ring-fence your job and give you extra incentives to avoid losing you to the competition. Therefore, you stand to gain a lot by making your job count.
Now, how do you make your job count? You need to read the game. Understand where your organisation is going and the key drivers for the short, medium and long-term periods. Now work on the plan of your job so that you can seamlessly fit in the bigger picture of your company or organisation.
You cannot be towing in a different direction from that of the organisation and expect to be counted. You need to be fully aligned with the overarching business objectives of your organisation. You need to constantly demonstrate that your work plays a pivotal role in taking your organisation into the next phases of achievement and success.
You need to constantly review the key messages and strategies that come from your senior leaders. You then need to work out what that means for your role. What are the new things that you need to do, or old things that you need to do differently so that you help your leaders to achieve what they seek out to pursue? You need to identify these key drivers.
This also means that you need to be capable of articulating very clearly and powerfully in words—in addition to action—how your job counts. If someone asks you what is that you do, your answer must not just describe what you do.
You must go further to clearly justify why you are employed and why you think you are doing the best job in the company. Any question like this is always an opportunity for you to market your personal brand. Do your best. Make the best pitch! Remember to make your job count in words and in deeds. Good luck as you rise and shine! n