By: Fran Marciano, Director of Accounting & Office Operations
No one likes to hear it but you are replaceable. No matter how large of an impact you make in your position, no matter how dedicated you are and how everything you do is vital and keeps the company running smoothly; there is someone who can do the same thing you do. Maybe not as well, but someone has the same skill sets. It’s a hard truth, but over time you come to realize that it’s not necessarily a negative. It simply means you have to continuously examine yourself and your work, and ask the right questions. How do I keep hold of my position and continue to be a valuable contributor? Here are 7 key lessons I’ve learned over my 50 years in the work force to help you reach a happy and secure 50 years.
- Focus on being a friendly face at work and remain positive. Try changing a negative situation into a positive one. The day moves along faster if you are focusing on the good rather than the bad. Keep the drama to a bare minimum.
- Contribute to the team, share your ideas, and reach out to co-workers when you are overloaded and need help. Your job security is not based on you handling every task yourself. Learn to delegate duties to co-workers who are looking to learn new skills.
- Mentor someone. Help a coworker achieve their goals, give them your advice; help them find their niche in the company. It can be more satisfying than you realize.
- Keep your personal life and work life balanced as best you can. Living only for your job can put a strain on your home life and mental wellbeing. Remember, to find time to enjoy family and friends, do the things that make you happy. Take a mental health day from work and spend the day in a spa relaxing and rejuvenating your energy.
- Admit to your mistakes. Everyone makes a mistake, we are human after all. Hiding something you did wrong or trying to hide a mistake from your boss will catch up with you and the consequences can be worse. Learn from your mistake, admit to your boss that you made a mistake and offer up a resolution to correct your mistake. Together you and your boss can decide a plan of action and next steps for resolution of the issue. Be transparent with the client. Let the client know an error was made and tell them the steps that were taken to resolve the issue. Your clients will appreciate you being honest and that you have a plan in place to correct the mistake; and next steps in place for going forward to prevent it from happening again.
- Know your audience. The phrase “It’s not what you said, but how you said it” applies here. Your tone of voice; be it on the phone or in an email should be professional and friendly. Your email voice should be professional but also reflect your personality, keep the message light. If the subject matter is difficult to compose, then have a co-worker review and edit out the emotion. Keep in mind that sometimes email is not the right median to get your point across. Sometimes we just have to pick up the phone and connect directly with the client. Again, be professional and friendly and keep your emotions out of the conversation. The customer is not always right, but they are the customer and need to be treated with respect.
- Finally, you may not agree with everyone you work with. Their views or opinions may not line up with your own, but that doesn’t make them wrong. It just makes them different from yours. Everyone’s views are valid, and it’s learning to respond appropriately and work in conjunction with people of other viewpoints that matters, not whether you’re right.
All of these lessons will help you stay in your position, but perhaps even more importantly, will help you enjoy your time there. The best position in the world is not the best position in the world if it is constantly full of stress and strife. Real longevity comes from enjoying what you do and the people you do it with.