Are you in rut?Â Are you thinking of find new work?Â Are you concerned that you may lose your job?Â To coin a cliche, “in these uncertain times…,” nothing is secure.Â With our economy limping along, if at all, and the job market devastated, anxiety would not be too strong a word to describe how some are feeling right now.
But in the great scheme of things, there are controllable factors, and some, we just can do nothing about.
Of all the levers we actually control, the most profound is us.Â We can choose to be in a rut, or not.Â We can choose to stay where we are, or not.Â
And the most fundamental choice we can make is whether we want to be valuable or not.Â When we view ourselves and our contributions are being valuable, we cannot be in a rut.Â Those in a rut see no value to what they do.Â If you value yourself and what you do; by definition, you are not in a rut – congratulations and stay out.
Likewise, regardless of whether you want to leave your job or are concerned with losing your job; all you can do is be valuable.Â Just because you no longer want to work where you are, do not mail it in.Â Even more so, you must continue to be an asset to where you are.Â
Unlike years gone by, there are true dangers to jumping ship.
True story – Circuit City opened a new store. They moved the operations manager from an existing unit to run the new store. The old store hired a young man to be an assistant manager in training. This person left his old job, thinking he had little chance of becoming a store manager there, to join Circuit City. Four months later, Circuit City no longer exists. This friend is working at an hourly position in a small video store, looking for a better paying job elsewhere, again.
Even with that cautionary tale, you may still want to leave.Â That does not change your responsibility to be valuable where you are currently are.Â
In fact, when you become an asset to your company, options and opportunities open.Â You build your reputation for the better, and doors can open.
Any sport is really a game of inches. The receiver stretches for the extra yard and gets the 1st down by “inches.”Â The ball just brushing by the finger tips of the soccer goalie, because the goalie slipped just an inch as he stepped to make the stop.
Life is a game of inches.Â Promotions and opportunities are a game of inches. You do not need to radically change who you are and what you do, if your goal is to find opportunity in your backyard. Take a good look at your co-workers and assess how many are just going through the motions or doing just enough to stay employed.
You do not need to change your scenery to escape your rut. The rut is in your mind; all you need is to change your perspective, your paradigm.
Some things you can do where you work to escape the rut:
- Arrive at work 15 to 20 minutes early and leave 10 minutes late.
- Clean your workspace before you leave every day.
- Write a daily list of 10 things to do; cross off what you accomplish; and move the undone task to next day’s list – be personally productive.
- Most times we know what needs to get done, so do it before being asked to and build a reputation as a “doer.”
- Volunteer, accept responsibility and make life easier for your boss.
- Lending a helping hand to a co-worker and step back. Step back, so that all praise for goes to the co-worker you help. No one need know you helped, but the manager will probably figure it out. Karma.
These are just some ideas for making little differences that can make you more valuable.Â When you begin to anticipate and execute before being told, you begin to become valuable.