Currently, 711,500 Australians are in the process of looking for work.That’s the highest number of jobless Australians since August 2018. Nearly twice that number are ‘underemployed’ or looking for more work. Even though the Reserve Bank considers a 4.5% jobless rate as ‘full employment’ (it’s currently at 5.2%), the numbers are still high.
On the other hand, those who have steady employment have to ask themselves, how secure is it? Broader economic conditions are one thing, but almost all individual businesses go through periods of cost-cutting and transition. What that can mean is the shedding of jobs (redundancies), and it’s not always ‘last in, first out’, or even a matter of cutting loose the least productive workers.
Often it’s a case of economics. For example, if you’re well paid, your employer might take a close look at your salary and think they can ‘save’ money by letting go of people like you.
So, how can you prevent that? How can you make yourself indispensable in the workplace? Can you become redundancy-proof?
How to keep working
In the 12 months before February 2017, more than 300,000 Australian workers were made redundant. What the statistics don’t tell you is the impact of redundancy is not just financial, but extremely emotional. Workers who are made redundant, particularly with little notice, report feelings of fear, worthlessness, alienation, and self-doubt. Of those who find a job within a year afterwards, a third will be paid less in their new role.
Taking steps to avoid redundancy is like vaccinating for a disease you haven’t got yet. It can be a double-edged sword. The longer you’ve worked at a company, the more you are likely to be paid, meaning if your company is struggling for funds, it might be financially advantageous to let you go.
However, an employee with the ability to adapt and innovate will stay ahead of the pack. Somebody open to new ideas is exactly the type of person an employer wants to retain. Being able to organise and prioritise your workflow, while letting go of any unnecessary or time-wasting tasks, will be looked upon favourably. An employee who has shown dedication and aptitude to complete a diploma is the perfect example of an employee willing to put something on the table other than experience or loyalty.
Stay ahead of the pack
There’s little doubt that employees hit a certain ‘sweet spot’ in their tenure at any given workplace. It might take one year, or it might take five. At some point, an employee’s productivity hits its peak, and the employer recognises the value of that contribution. The average time a wage or salary earner stays with one employer is just 3.2 years for those aged 25-34. For those aged over 65, the average is 10.3 years. Anything above those figures means you’ve had more time than the average worker to show the boss that you are capable and keen.
What employers hold in high regard are employees who can adapt and upskill to keep abreast of new trends in their industry. Analytical thinking in the digital economy age is also of value.
A proactive employee who takes the initiative, follows their instincts and pre-empts issues is an asset. In the age of technology and robotics, staying on top of these developments and how to implement them will demonstrate to potential employers that you are proactive and driven. All of these are skills can be learnt and improved upon as part of studying for a diploma. Your boss will appreciate the effort you give to making your work and the business better.
When the going gets tough…
There are occasions when the situation is out of your hands entirely. In the unfortunate situation that you are moved on, remember that the skills you’ve learned are the same skills you’ll need to land your next job. Positivity, resilience, adaptability, flexibility, and creativity are skills that just about every workplace strives to attract. Don’t worry about the things are not within your control. Hold your head high and move on. After all, if one workplace was happy to have you on their team, there’s bound to be another just around the corner with the same view.
Making your job redundant proof can be challenging. Sometimes your role will no longer be financially viable. When the control is not in your hands the only thing you can do is try and make yourself, as an employee, redundancy proof.
Adapting to the environment around you will help you to avoid the dreaded ‘tap on the shoulder’ in many circumstances. The most you can do is use your initiative by upskilling yourself wherever possible and proving each day that you are a valuable member to keep in the company. Hard work and dedication never go astray in the world of business.