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8 tips to fortify your career growth in uncertain times…..

Life likes to make us sweat with challenges, but don’t sweat it, take them on with grace! Navigate through them like a pro, and move on to the next like the boss you are. Don’t chicken out by passing them on to someone else or hiding them in your closet. That’s like burying a bone in the backyard – it’s just going to resurface later, and it won’t smell pretty. So, unwrap those gifts of challenges and use them to level up and become the ultimate ninja version of yourself!

Fighting to keep your job can be a stressful and challenging experience. It takes a lot of planning and strategy, as well as understanding, preparation, allies, and awareness. If your current company feels safe, but the rest of the market is experiencing layoffs, take it as a warning sign and start preparing yourself for potential disruptions. I hope you can continue to feel at peace about your job and its security, but here are a few tips to help you strengthen your position:

  1. The Signs tell it all: One of the ways for organizations to communicate with their employee groups is via Townhalls/newsletters/ Leadership connects. As it may sound more of a Rewards and Recognition function with snacks after that, many times, a lot of internal information is being shared during those connects. It will help you, pay more attention when the CXOs and their one-downs share the data points on company financials, organizational restructuring, and new product or market launches announcement, you may gain more clarity on the direction of the growth or decline. Other telltale signs are the Movers & Shakers of the organizations. These indicate possible major company strategy changes, financials, investor relations, and other aspects.
  2. Be Aware: Being paid as an employee does require that you are aware not only of the KPI that measures your performance and helps you in your daily tasks, but also requires you to know more about the company, the long-term and short-term goals, the more significant aspect of the company performance. This will help you to understand your standing in the company, and possibilities for you and your team (directly or indirectly) as the company maneuvers in the market.
  3. Company’s reputation: An organization is successful only if the company has customers and is robust with customer retention. The Vendors, suppliers, and partners also help build the company’s reputation in the market. Observe the frontline feelers about your company from the pulse of these aforementioned agents. It may not be difficult to miss how well or poorly the markets generally see your company’s brand.

If you look into all of these signs, collate, and analyze in collaboration with hiring trends, and economic market outlook, you will be able to see clear indicators of the direction the company is going.

Some safety nets that you need to keep building to support you in your tough times, like:

  1. Personal finances: Understanding your compensation structure: concepts (seemingly boring but the core of the matter; What’s your tax, what are the statutory deductions, what’s your Flexi benefit plan, what’s your bonus, how is being calculated etc.) will help you be closer to your wallet.
  2. Get personal with your earnings and expenditure: Know how much is being spent by you or your family and on what. This can include the monthly& yearly groceries, education, bills (electricity, water, gas, fuel, commute), Medical, EMIs, Socialising events, eating out, Short and long vacations, also the pocket wallets that you maintain and so mindlessly deducts every time you are browsing the new food app or shopping app. Calculate the monthly budgets in simple maths. It sounds complex but is very straightforward. I am sure you will be enlightened (as I was when I did it the first time…)
  3. Money needs to work too:  Investment options available today are plenty. Investing in long-term and short-term plans with medium to good returns will create a compounding effect over long durations and they come in real handy during emergency needs. Get help from a trustworthy Wealth manager to assist you in making financial decisions. Start early in terms of investments. It’s never too late either. Understanding and acing at personal finances is the key to smart working. My personal favorite when I started to look for a starting point to understand “personal finance” was a book called “Richest Man of Babylon” by George S Clason. It is very light and easy and has a beautiful narration. Keen to give it a try??
  4. Update your skill & add variety to experience: While you work full time and feel may not get the time, you must identify your core strengths. This will help you to educate and train yourself on skills that will complement you in your growth story. Depth of experience is also something you should aim at achieving. You may know a lot of things superficially, but you need to gain depth in your core strengths by being involved in projects and maybe research assignments. Depth will bring in the niche and “Niches are where the riches are”.
  5. Networking: Extrovert or introvert, making the right connections can help you achieve your career goals much faster. Networking is not only about expecting favors when asking for them but being selfless in sharing your knowledge, your trust, and helping the community you are part of consistently. Finding willing mentors via networking is a magic pill for your exponential growth.

The above points are not new, they have been around in all our minds for the longest of times, however, I realized that they seldom surface when any are really required in our life. I hope with this blog, a few of the fundamental methods that can help you save yourself on a rainy day would have resurfaced and ignite the path ahead for your next move up in your profession.

From the thinking desk at THE IMAGE ALLY.

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