If you intend to have a prosperous career as a salaried employee, there are some common sense methods you can employ to increase your prospects:
1. Be on a funded and executing program.
With no money to pay, your job’s gone the next day. This doesn’t mean jumping ship the moment it’s mentioned a project is stopping but you should network within your company to identify where you’ll sail next. Another way to put it is it’s like swinging from vine to vine in a jungle.
2. Remove people’s pain and provide what they want most.
This is a simple recipe learned from a wonderful book called "The $100 Startup" by Chris Guillebeau. People have a greater likelihood of paying for products and services that remove pain or that they strongly want. Why would this be any different at your company in terms of risks, accountability, responsibility, and achievements as well as raises, promotions, friendship, help, trust, and respect? Remove your manager's worries and make sure his or her goals are met. Help your team mates in need or teach them something useful. Take initiative or show leadership when no one else is. Make your team move forward. Accomplish. Achieve great things. Give credit where it’s due.
3. View yourself as a business and desire repeat customers.
Stand behind the quality and value of your work and actions. Be on time. Be approachable and don’t be hostile. Do people want to do business with you again? Do people give you patronage and want to voluntarily recommend you to others?
4. Make sure your boss is happy with you.
Why? Because your boss pays your salary, promotes you, and gives you raises. In dealing with your boss’s needs it helps to excel at items #2 and #3 above.
5. Assume future bosses are the audience of today’s performance review.
What better way to immortalize your accomplishments and all else you’ve brought to the company than in written performance reviews. These allow future managers to objectively judge you, favorably, without even having met you.
6. Cost less than your peers.
Everyone wants a big salary, but if you plan on sticking around for a long time there is an advantage to not costing an exorbitant amount. This does not mean accepting less than a fair salary for your services. It means being reasonable in your expectations and demands. Should you obtain a comparatively higher salary relative to your peers, then if your company cuts costs by laying people off you may be more vulnerable even if you’re a super star. Fact of life.
7. Continuously learn and discuss knowledge with others.
Always read. Invest in yourself by spending time learning whether it’s of technical, business, or social nature. Learn new technologies or concepts. Learn new things that apply or could apply to your work. Learn new things that you’ll share with others. Learn for the sake of learning. You’ll be surprised that the smallest things may serve you well some day. Challenge ideas and discuss their merits. Knowledge and great ideas are often the result of discussion and collaboration.
8. Help others be successful.
There’s no better way to inspire, obtain patronage, and command respect than by giving back to someone by helping them be successful. Teach them something new. Help them accomplish. Give them credit. Help them with items #4 and #5. Involve them with item #7.
9. Think ahead for your company.
Be proactive and communicate your ideas for future opportunities. Challenge naysayers and pessimists. Be visionary and think of how your company could be better.