Does Job Security Exist in a Post-COVID World? – Part One
The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world of work on its head, and people are seriously worried about whether job security is going to still exist when COVID-19 is finally under control. The good news is there are steps you can take to prove your worth, help you keep the job you have, in the industry you love and have been trained in, and thrive even during difficult periods. Of course, there are no guarantees, and you cannot control matters beyond your control, for example, if your entire team gets laid off. However, by taking these steps, you would also be making yourself a more appealing candidate in case you do need to search for something new.
Here are some things you can do to help you increase your job security in a post-COVID world
Be Buoyant, Flexible, and Thoughtful
These are skills companies’ value very highly, regardless of role. You should be able to demonstrate:
Buoyancy: rising to the top tough times
Flexibility: Being ready and able to wear different hats
Thoughtfulness: Being respectful, intentional, and communicative with colleagues
Of all of these, flexibility may well the most important attribute. That means doing whatever it takes to stay afloat and handle the unknown. Being flexible is the force that will motivate you to steer your career into calmer waters.
However, beyond maintaining that momentum, you will also need to evolve. Specifically, you should be alert to what is happening at your company and also looking at industry trends more broadly. Make it your job to meet the needs of shifting circumstances. Take on the duties and projects that need to be tackled in this new reality to help your employer succeed right now – whether that be running virtual meetings or taking on additional responsibilities within a smaller company. Essentially, make yourself indispensable.
Most meetings could be replaced by email and ZOOM
Expect your post-pandemic work calendar to contain fewer meetings overall. The pandemic has been a technological equaliser of sorts, where people previously unaccustomed to using communication tools in the workplace have had no choice but to adapt. And in some cases, workers are becoming more efficient. People have been more patient in learning new technologies and engaging with them, simply because they have had to, and these best practices will live on. We are all developing new muscles in order to work virtually.
Consequently, you should expect a generally more agile way of working and communicating with colleagues. This will mean that more meetings will become virtual, and some will be dealt with via instant message, and yet others via email. For employees who no longer work together in a central office, phone calls and meetings have moved to ZOOM. This, in fact, could improve building trust among workers who cannot interact in person. When you are able to pick up on nonverbal cues, or you are invited into a colleague’s home via video chat, a different type of intimacy is formed in a faster way than would happen in a traditional working environment. This could well help break down traditional hierarchical professional relationships and reach a more equable professional working landscape.
The 9-5 Paradigm May be a Thing of the Past
In order to maintain job security as we hopefully leave COVID behind, many employers have relaxed rules about workers starting and ending their days at a set time. With many employees successfully working from home now, it will be a lot harder for employers to deny flexibility around work hours and work settings. For most office-type work, you have probably found out by now that you can absolutely do your work remotely, and with the technology, much of which is freely available, you can build it around your schedule.
To maintain a sense of structure, employers will have to set expectations for when they need everyone in the office or online for staff meetings and other team activities. Additionally, she says, in order to create a balance between work time and personal time, employees and managers will have to work closely together to ensure that no one is feeling pressured to respond to emails and messages at all hours of the day. It is not about throwing out all the rules; it is about letting people co-create them.
This kind of collaborative approach to our post-COVID workspace is what will ultimately help create the job security we all need. In our next blog we will look at more tips to help shore up that security.