For most workers, motivation on the job comes in waves. It arrives at the onset of personal success—i.e. getting hired—and carries over as that success translates company wide, and our hard work pays career-boosting dividends. But the ride is rarely so smooth all the time. We’ve all heard about the volatility of modern business. And many have felt how organizational failures stain with uncertainty even the motivated worker’s psyche. How should we react? Should we double-down and ask for extra responsibility? Soldier on, like nothing is off? Or is it time to cut and run?
It may be painful to admit, but questions like these are common among employees of companies fishing for a future in rough waters. No one wants to sink with the ship. However, allowing oneself to be jarred by undercurrents of doubt is no way to function, especially in a professional setting. Instead, there are techniques that employees in even the most volatile of fields can use to brace well and maintain their career footing.
Find Ways to Pitch In
It might feel unwise to undertake additional tasks in an environment where your ability to complete your current workload could influence job security. However, taking the initiative when your company shows warning signs is a good way to maintain a mindset grounded in finding solutions, rather than worrying about problems.
Reflect on Your Inner Values
Few good things come free, which is why we stomach all manner of hardships in the short-term. But when results like promotions, raises and yearly bonuses are in doubt, it’s a bit difficult to maintain motivations based purely in material rewards. It’s a good idea, then, to do a bit of “internal auditing.” Discover how your work in some way facilitates your life’s core purpose (and if it doesn’t, fix that) and you’ll be able to derive the motivation to keep pushing, even if material rewards seem temporarily scarce.
Take Up a Pastime Unrelated to Work
Sometimes the reality of life leaves us in a position we would rather avoid. If you do happen to dislike your job, but circumstances render you unable to leave, the added nightmare of job insecurity will only pile on the stress—unless you find fulfillment elsewhere. Devoting yourself to an activity you truly enjoy will allow for invaluable decompression time. A daunting situation may appear much less so, when faced with freshly calmed nerves and anticipation of good times ahead.
Appreciate the Small Victories
Dwelling on all things rotten is an unfortunate human tendency, but it’s also one that can be sidestepped with bit of self-reflection. Workers in jeopardy need only realize, for example, that if their company is failing—and coworkers are dropping like flies—there are probably many good reasons why their job is intact. Pinpointing the small, everyday successes that maintain supervisors’ faith in you will prove that progress is still being made, even though it might not feel like it.