Picking up from where we left off with the previous post, here are some tips to make you a more valuable employee and hopefully survive the recession:
- Find out what your department’s core needs are and get to know how to cover them as best as possible. These may not always be the “sexy” duties, and they may even be boring or tedious sometimes. However, if you are perceived to be the all-rounder, the person who can run the whole department if necessary, your employers will be much more reluctant to let you go.
- It is equally important to not isolate yourself in your specific department. Whenever you get the chance, actively seek interaction and co-operation with other departments. Get to know how they work, what their needs are, and how your department can work with them for mutual benefit. Try to gain an understanding of your university as a whole and of its broader activities.
- Never stop seeking new training opportunities. No matter how senior you may be and how much expertise you may have acquired in your area of work, there will always be new things to learn – be it a new piece of computer software, a new professional qualification, or simply keeping up to speed with developments in your field.
- Offer something extra than what was asked for. If every once in a while you give away some of your time to assist in university activities where an extra pair of hands is needed, or to do some work on top of what is in your job description, this will no doubt be much appreciated, admired, and remembered.
- Network as much as you can, whenever and wherever you can. Network with colleagues from your institution and other institutions, with management staff, with industry people, with whomever possible. You never know when a contact may come in handy, and if you ever get to the unpleasant position of being let go from your job, you will already have a wide network of people who you can ask for help with finding new opportunities.
- Finally, it is worth remembering those simple things, which, if not followed consistently, can ultimately cost you your job. Arrive at work on time, make up for any time lost, listen to your managers, be respectful to colleagues, maintain good working relationships with everyone, and give your best when executing your duties.