Guide to Work Survival Skills

These days it is not enough to just think about the skills that you need to compete and get you ahead in the workplace, if you are really forward thinking, you will also think about the skills to survive the workplace.

This may sound negative but with businesses going through constant change, retsructiring, downsizing, takeovers and mergers, it pays to understand the survival game, as it is ‘a jungle out there’!

It is generally agreed that there are 10 essentials of a survival kit:

A map of the area you will be in, a compass, a flashlight, sunglasses, extra food and water, extra clothing, waterproof matches, fire starters, a pocket knife and a first aid kit. All things being equal, this kit should allow you to survive in many settings.

Consider your workplace survival in the same light. Knowing and understanding your environment and what pitfalls you’re likely to encounter puts you ahead of the game. Learning by experience is a big part of the job, and it is inventibleby the way most people find out.

To help you along the way, here are a few pointers to help you avoid avoid the snakes and losing your way in the jungle, to survive in the workplace!

Commercial awareness – for this read company politics!

Appreciation of workplace culture and being effective in the organisational environment. This knowledge is often gained through ‘water cooler talk’!

Willingness to learn and continue learning – You are on a short fuse if you show no interest in learning new skills in a changing environment

Managing time / Planning & prioritising workload – with flatter structures, most workloads are getting greater so how well you can ‘juggle lots of balls’ is key

Working to deadlines / coping with stress – says it all!

Accepting responsibility – passing the buck and abdicating doesn’t wash

Meeting goals – If you have set goals then it’s important to achieve

Implementing decisions – If you have made decisions or they have been made for you, then put them into action!

Attending to details – Procrastination and sloppy work doesn’t cut

Demonstrating punctuality, reliability & commitment

Computer skills – you don’t need to be a wizard but need to know enough to be effective in your job

Ability to work as part of a team/s or under own initiative and re-adjust your role – being able to work both as part of a team or autonomously definitely helps

Flexibility/adaptability to respond to, pre-empt and lead change

Finally, demonstrating these 6 ‘self’s’

shouting about your successes on your behalf, (unless you are very fortunate) you have to raise your success profile yourself, which is something most people struggle with but could keep you in a job!

If you want to know more about developing your career, visit our Career & Personal Development website