The job market across the country is in a funny place right now. The recently-subsided COVID lockdown put many people out of work. Many small businesses suffered irreparable setbacks as they were unable to keep their doors open. Many large businesses changed the way they thought about their employees, the way they measured success, and even how they defined the word “office.”

This economic season has some people struggling to return to work. It has others wondering where they should go next after their last job was lost to the pandemic. But if you are one of those employees who has been able to maintain a job or has returned to work, there are ways to take advantage of this economic new world. There are ways to position yourself for new, better opportunities.

Bigger Conversations

Be part of bigger conversations at your company, contributing to discussions about employee recruiting, efficiency, and business processes. Initiate ideas with your supervisor. Demonstrate a willingness to “carry the load” of a scaled back staff. Think about the experience you’ve had and how it’s prepared you to be more engaged for the job you have right now.

Being Teachable

Have you demonstrated to your workplace that you are teachable, willing to grow and learn new things, and willing to engage with new ideas to make your work more efficient? Sometimes a simple question about workflow or an inquiry about how to be more team-oriented can be the difference between you maintaining status quo and you setting yourself apart as an essential team member.

Asking for More

Consider how you can be part of bigger things at your job just by asking for more responsibility. Imagine asking for this without asking for more pay?! Employees who gives more than they take are almost always considered valuable. Employees who initiate and demonstrate consistency and hard work are almost always given bigger opportunities.

From small business to large, everything is different than it was just 18 months ago. Some businesses are finding it extraordinarily difficult to find people willing to work. Fast food restaurants and fast stations are offering hiring bonuses. Long-standing businesses are having a nearly impossible time filling even the most simple roles. 

When was the last time you pulled your supervisor aside and offered some thoughts on how to make the job more efficient? When was the last time you initiated an activity that would boost office morale or lift people’s spirits? Sometimes a $6 investment of donuts can show the people around you that you’re serious about liking where you work. 

Showing initiative. Asking questions. Offering ideas. The opportunities you have at your workplace are oftentimes about the efforts you make in making your workplace a better place for everyone who's there. 

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