Managing your career isn’t easy. Finding out how to best manage your career is even tougher. My posts so far this week have focused on the basics needed to manage your career so that you can become a Cubicle Warrior.
Yesterday, I talked about the most critical need of being a Cubicle Warrior as the savings in the bank to cushion a layoff, allowing you to wait for the right next position instead of desperately taking anything that comes along.
Today, we’ll look at the dark secret of career management – performance in your current position counts.
There are widely divergent opinions on people’s job performance. I personally see a lot of people who think their performance walks on water — but the performance there hardly makes a ripple on what’s important to the business.
Here’s the two big reasons for having great job performance:
Good performance prevents layoffs. Sometimes, you are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. More often, you are offered opportunities to be in places where there won’t be a layoff — but if, and only if, your performance in your current job makes your management want to keep you. Without the job performance, you are placing your career in the hands of others who do not have your best interests in mind, only their own. Performing well helps the manager put you into a position where you will do value-added work and stay employed longer. The best position to be in — “I’d never survive without having Scot Herrick on the team.” Managers will go a long way to keep you working for them. But performance counts.
Accomplishments are your gift to future employers. Even if you do get laid off through no fault of your own, every employer will ask you what you accomplished in your last position. Every one. It would be useful if you actually had some accomplishments to enumerate to your future employer.
You see, the person interviewing you is going to try and determine if you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time — or if you really weren’t adding a lot of value to the business. A whiff of not adding value and you won’t be in a position to compete with those already in jobs looking for a change.
That’s not very nice. But it’s accurate and real. Good performance is something to wear like a badge of honor to your current employer — or your future one.
What other reasons are there for good performance?