This April, 539,000 people lost their jobs as the United States’ unemployment rate climbed to 8.9 percent. Despite the fact that 539,000 is an improvement over March’s 600,000 lost jobs, the total number remains staggering.
So what does this mean for Edgers? Obviously, if you are reading this article you are probably not a member of that 8.9 percent, but conceivably anyone could be. That means it’s time to get proactive. You can’t be satisfied with just doing your job, you have to attack it. Now, more than ever, it’s time to get aggressive about bettering yourself and growing in your career. It is with this in mind that MHEDA Edge has put together seven tips for keeping your job safe.
1. Don’t be a hardline 9-to-5er
To succeed in trying times, you have to be willing to outwork the next guy. That means getting to the office early and sticking around late. Sure summer is just around the corner and we all want to be outside, but run out of the door at five o’clock every day and you just may find yourself with lots of unwanted spare time on your hands.
2. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn
Now this isn’t a carte blanche to go around the office espousing your virtues to anyone who will listen, but if you did something extraordinary, let people know. If you aren’t advocating your talents, who will? There’s nothing rude or pretentious about making your supervisors aware of your successes.
3. Have a great attitude
Sure the economy is struggling, the Industrial Truck Association sales numbers are down across the board, and business is slower than it has been in ages. That doesn’t mean it’s alright to feel sorry for yourself. If you go into a customer’s warehouse with a negative attitude, they’ll pick up on it. However, give off an upbeat, optimistic energy and customers will respond positively.
4. Contribute (some) ideas
As cliché as it might sound, employees really are a company’s most valuable asset. You are the people on the front lines getting it done day in and day out. This front-line experience also uniquely qualifies you to diagnose problems and prescribe solutions. If there is something in the company’s operations that you think you could improve upon, bring it up with a superior. The most important things to remember when doing this is to be respectful about your suggestions and don’t make an over-the-top amount of them. Otherwise, it might be construed as simply whining.
5. Curiosity never killed the career
As a material handling professional, one of your goals should be to learn as much as possible about the industry in which you are employed. One of the most effective ways to do this is to ask questions. This industry is full of veterans willing to offer insight and advice, but they’re not going to seek you out. You must show the initiative.
6. Seek out new responsibilities
Sure, you’re doing everything that’s asked of you when it comes to job responsibilities. The question you have to ask yourself is, in this economy, is that enough? If you want to truly stand out, you should be actively looking for new responsibilities to take on around the office. You will become a better rounded employee, and your initiative will get noticed.
7. Keep on growing
So maybe it’s not realistic to expect your sales numbers to grow exponentially in this climate. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend the coming months pushing yourself to grow professionally leading up to the economic recovery. Fortunately for MHEDA members, the association offers several no-cost opportunities for professional growth. To read more about these free training opportunities, visit this page.