Non-Essential Employees

Much of America is digging out from under the droppings of a massive snow storm. Michigan is no different. Many businesses and schools are closed. Reading through the list of closings, my attention is drawn to the organizations noting “non-essential employees need not report.” I’m sure the “non-essentials” are jumping for joy while the “essential” employees groan at the prospect of braving the elements. I’m wondering if the wrong group of employees is celebrating, however.

Though I understand the designation of non-essential, part of me can’t get past the irony. Organizations have many employees who are important and contribute great things to the overall operation, but who within a company is lucky enough to be viewed as essential? When you look back over the past few years, during an incredible economic storm, many companies have, for all intents and purposes, said “non-essential employees need not report.” They’ve made a strategic decision to get by with the critical few needed to weather the storm. Skilled individuals with great work ethics and meaningful contributions to their employers still found themselves with a pink slip in hand and struggling to shake off the absolute shock.

Now those same individuals are working hard to convince employers they are the best next hire for the organizations they target. They are doing a good job of showing they have a lot to offer, but many are still falling short of being viewed as essential. Employers are left thinking, “you’re great but we don’t HAVE to have you.” The candidates who can find a way to research the objectives of prospective employers and showcase how their skills and experiences are key to helping organizations achieve their goals are much more likely to be viewed as essential.

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