No one wants to go through layoffs. Yet, it happens. So how can we save ourselves from being kicked out of our jobs? Let’s find out!
Internet / Whatsapp is flooding with news of large companies letting people go. It’s loosely called ‘Layoffs’ but I would phrase it as ‘Change’. A change which is inevitable with the whole technology industry experiencing a paradigm shift. Anyone who says it’s a surprise/shock is living in a bubble and is out of touch with the market trends.
Let me clarify it upfront, I do not support letting people go or making them jobless. Certainly, asking people to leave is one of the toughest decisions for a company and even tougher to execute for HR, irrespective of the company size or the industry.
But if we see it from a flip side, we professionals change companies frequently (average Indian IT professional changes job in every 2 to 2.5 yrs) for multiple reasons – salary, location, etc. One of the most common reasons is vertical growth either technological or role wise.
We, recruiters, get this as a very common reason for job change where professionals are looking for better roles, a chance to work on the latest technologies, to take up a larger scope of work etc., then why is this hue and cry if corporates want to do the same?
So how do we save ourselves from being kicked out of our jobs? Simple answer, Upgrade!
There are three crucial aspects which need constant upgradations:
Skills: When I ask candidates how they have kept themselves upgraded, the most likely answer is- “My company / current project does not have opportunities to work in a desired latest technology environment.” This is the lamest excuse for not upgrading yourself. This only shows you are a “do as told person” and completely lack initiative. So ask yourself these questions every 2-3 months…
- Do I know the latest thing happening in my tech stack?
- What are other companies doing with the same technology(s) I work in, is it different and what is the difference?
- What are the most complementing technologies to the one in which I have expertise? Learn at least 1-2 complementing technologies.
- In which domain do I have the expertise? Which are the complementing domains? Build knowledge/certification in domains you do not have expertise in.
Upgrading capabilities and learning new skills is one of the best ways to become more successful in your career. You don’t have to be currently looking for a job to upgrade your skills or do a little self-improvement. All you need is the desire to learn something new to increase your chances of reaching your career goals.
Attitude: This gets harder and harder as you grow up the ladder. Believe it or not, even your attitude needs frequent upgradations. I have seen managers who are excellent in technology having worst attitudes, and this is not a ‘cool’ thing. In any organisation around the world, you will get promoted only if you have the attitude to “change your attitude” to suit the new position. If you are incapable of this flexibility, your growth will be capped sooner than later. A positive attitude is vital for your personal growth and is also helpful in forming a supportive environment for your
managerial efforts. Everywhere we look and whatever role we are in, we have the opportunity to go to the next level, to upgrade in some way. So how do can you upgrade your attitude? This is simpler than you thought, just follow the manager who is growing faster than you are, 95% of times it will only be because of the ‘right attitude’. An attitude upgrade, if developed and maintained in a deliberate and intentional way, can help managers to grow professionally and personally and make success easy.
Build a Differentiator:
This one needs patience, hard work and a little bit of forecasting. But building one differentiator/USP/ Unique skill pays in the long run. How do you find this USP? Here is what you can do- Within your professional expertise, think what would that one area be in which you would start your own venture and survive if you were jobless or an entrepreneur, whatever the answer is that area can be your USP in your job as well. If your answer is beyond your current professional skillset, then you’re in the wrong field.
Companies of the future will mostly look for excellence in technologies (the average category will perish), flexibility to align with company growth and multi-skilled professionals. Upgrading of skills will not only be highly valued but will become a requirement for every employer. Therefore, you can’t put off updating your skills until tomorrow. Get cracking now and improve your career prospects.