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Five career cushioning tips to make you a valuable employee

Stay relevant and position yourself into a key role to hold onto your job this year. 

While 2022 became known as the year of “quiet quitters” which saw a trend of employees doing as little work as possible, 2023 calls for a major change in attitude. This year is all about making yourself visible and valuable at your workplace –  switch off cruise control and step on the gas! 

Latest technologies such as AI and the potential of chatbots such as ChatGPT taking over functions previously reserved for humans is a real threat. This, coupled with global economic problems and load-shedding, means companies are looking at their bottom line more closely and job security is weakening. 

Position yourself as a strong employee by following these “career cushioning” tips from Jack Hammer Global, to ensure that you are as well positioned as possible to weather incoming uncertainties and remain relevant within your company, and alternatively, to have a safety net or a Plan B in the wings:

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Understand your strengths and work on them:

What are you really good at and how can you add value to your company? Be proactive, speak to your manager and see where else you can be of service to the organisation. If your old skills are no longer relevant, expand your area of influence and contribution as widely as possible from your existing position. Make your contribution more valuable and yourself more visible.

Be an exceptional leader:

Research has shown that there is about a 70% variance in team engagement depending on the quality of a team’s leader. Now is the time where companies will be looking for an even higher level of team engagement, productivity and innovation to keep the wolves from the door. Step up, inspire, motivate, and engage – which is an exclusively human function – to remain in high demand.

Don’t be a robot:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here and all that Sci-Fi stuff about robots taking over is now slowly starting to feel real.  The key to safe-guarding your job from being taken over by AI, is to match existing skills and proficiencies with those human-only ones which AI won’t yet be able to replicate.

Get out there and network:

The time to stay at home and keep the Zoom camera off has passed. In-office time, spent collaborating with colleagues where possible, will help in keeping you and your contribution front of mind. Get back in touch with professional organisations and attend functions and events so that you can connect with industry peers, keep abreast of what’s coming down the pike, and stay on top of what opportunities may arise in future.

Upskill yourself:

There are a myriad of free and excellent courses available online allowing you to investigate your interests before deciding on future moves. Speak to leadership professionals about strategies for the future, and find a mentor to guide you on your way.

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