With organisations going through constant change, restructuring, downsizing, takeovers and mergers, it pays to understand the survival game.

It is generally agreed that there are 10 essentials of a survival kit: a map, compass, torch, sunglasses, extra food and water, extra clothing, waterproof matches, fire starters, a pocket knife and a first-aid kit.

Consider your workplace survival in the same light. Understanding your environment and its potential pitfalls puts you ahead of the game. To help you along the way, here are 12 pointers:

  • Organisational politics. Awareness and 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. If you show no interest in learning new skills in a changing environment you are definitely putting your job at risk.
  • Managing time/planning and 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. A must and says it all.
  • Accepting responsibility. Passing the buck and abdicating do not wash any more.
  • Meeting goals. If you have set goals it is important to deliver.
  • Implementing decisions. If you have made decisions or they have been made for you, put them into action.
  • Attending to details. Procrastination and sloppy work do not cut it and can have a dramatic effect on results.
  • Demonstrating punctuality, reliability and commitment. Being on time every time and being there when required is more important than ever.
  • 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 or under own initiative. Being able to work as part of a team or autonomously definitely helps, as does the ability to constantly readjust as required.
  • Flexibility/adaptability to respond to, pre-empt and lead change. Change is all around us and a constant part of our working lives. However, people who can see it coming and lead much needed change will stand a much greater chance of survival and moving forward with the organisation.

Finally, your survival guide is complete if you can also demonstrate these six “selfs”:

  • self assurance;
  • self confidence;
  • self awareness;
  • self belief;
  • self sufficiency;
  • self promotion

In other words, don’t expect your boss to be shouting about your successes on your behalf. You have to raise your success profile yourself. This is something most people struggle with but could keep you in a job.