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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tips to Keep Your Job during a Recession

Tips to Keep Your Job during a Recession

The state of our economy is in demise. People’s current financial situation is unpredictable and tentative. Every time one watches the news or looks at the headlines in the newspaper, it seems as though there is more and more bad news concerning the recession. Even large, prosperous companies have experienced serious downturn. Employees suddenly find themselves jobless or with reduced hours without inviting the situation. People who previously considered their jobs secure are now faced with possible lay-offs.

If the company you work for is slipping significantly, there is not too much you can do to alter the situation. However, many companies, although they have to make cuts, will survive and endure. If you want to be amongst those chosen to keep the boat afloat, then there are several things you can do to help your chances.

Go through extra effort at work. With many companies, layoffs are unavoidable. However, some companies can use the occasion to eliminate difficult or under-performing employees.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your chances of keeping your job during a recession: (The resources for these tips can be found at the end of this article)

1) Take Credit For Your Accomplishments.
This does not mean that you have to brag to let management know that you are doing a good job. It simply means that you should keep them in the loop. You can do this by creating a paper trail. CC your boss on appropriate emails that relate to the progress of specific projects and important deadlines. Also, make sure to forward short updates and summaries of ongoing projects to your supervisor intermittently.

2) Avoid Asking For a Raise.
If you are aware that your company is making cuts and know that their budget is tight, do not ask for a pay increase. By asking for a raise in such times, you can put yourself at the top of the lay-off list.

3) Do Extra Work.
Stay busy. If you have some free time, ask your boss if there is any way you can help out and if there is additional work to be done. This will increase your visibility and value to the company. Although volunteering to do extra tasks is a great way to keep your job, do so only if you can complete it in a timely manner and if it does not deter you from your original tasks.

4) Be Visible.
Enhance your visibility by attending and participating in meetings, offering creative, new ideas and taking part in company outings. Be sure to let people (preferably those in higher positions) within your organization are aware of your existence. Moreover, do not make your boss have to look for you. This is the wrong time to take an extended vacation. When you return, your position could be eliminated. Also, do not come into work late, that is negative visibility as people will notice.

5) Build Up a Relationship With Your Boss.
Talk to your boss, your boss’s boss, and their boss. Get to know your boss, preferably on a work-related basis. Build up and maintain a strong relationship with them, and make sure they know about all your contributions to the company and the valuable work that you do.

6) Be Conscious of the Company.
Make sure you know what and how your company is doing. Keep your eyes and ears open. It is important for you to stay abreast of events within your company, your industry and nationally. By being well informed, you will advance your personal worth.

7) Avoid Gossip.
Gossiping can possibly end up getting you into trouble. Make sure to stay happy and positive. At times like these, people can become unhappy and despondent. Misery loves company and you can generally find huddles of groups talking themselves into a group melancholy. It is best to avoid them as nothing good can come from it. Keep your sunny and positive attitude and boost the morale of others.

8) Come Up With New Ideas.
Be creative and conjure up new ideas on ways your company can make money or be more efficient. Become a part of the solution by helping your company develop ways to cut costs. Furthermore, possibly mentor someone in the organization who may be experiencing difficulties. Your time will not be in vain.

9) Update Your Skills.
Keep up-to-date of all the latest technologies, trends, and other skills related to your work. Educate yourself. Think of ways to complement and enhance your current degree. If you do not have a degree, strive to get a degree or at least a certification of some sort. Make sure your boss is aware of your intent to continue or develop your education. Companies dispose of people whose skills are outdated and replace them with people who have more relevant and modern training. The benefits of enhancing your education and skill set are two fold. Firstly, it can make you indispensible at your current job. You may even be asked to take on more responsibility. Secondly, if you lose your current job, it will be easier to find a new one.

10) Observe The Job Market.
You should always have a backup plan. Passively look for jobs so that you have a head start if you are laid off. Network with previous employers or colleagues so that you can contact them in you ever need to. Update your resume, return agency' phone calls, and start picturing where else you might like to work just to be on the safe side.

11) Become Indispensable.
Become a specialist at some aspect of your companies business. If you have acquired knowledge or skills that your colleagues do not possess, it makes you more valuable, important and irreplaceable to your company. Be an asset to your company.

12) Become a "Can Do" Employee.
Employers like it when they can give you a problem or task and know that it will be undertaken promptly and resourcefully. Your bosses will notice this, and your value within the company will grow.

13) Stay Put.
Evade the thought of moving to a new employer unless you are totally confident that your present company has no future. No matter how good the job is or may sound, being the new member of the team makes you highly vulnerable in these economic slumps.

14) Stay Smart.
Make extra efforts to go into the office smartly dressed. Do not let your standards drop. It may sound hard to believe, but being a smart individual could mean the difference between keeping and losing your job.

15) Don’t Be a High Maintenance Employee.
Be easy to work with. Avoid complaining. Make sure to uphold your professionalism at all times. Furthermore, avoid taking too many sick days, arriving late to work, or taking excessive vacations. Be as efficient and accessible to your boss and coworkers as possible.

16) Get to Work Early & Stay Late
This does not mean that you have to work until midnight. However, try to avoid being the first one out the door when the clock strikes five. With the current economic storm, putting in a few extra hours is an investment in your future.

17) Minimize Personal Activity.
Keep personal calls, emails and text messaging to a minimum during the workday.

18) Give Your Leaders a Break.
As much as we may find objectionable certain actions of bosses, it is important to realize that they really do not take pleasure in having to lay off their people. Endeavour to ease the leader’s load and help them protect and preserve your department.

19) Stop Complaining.
A good attitude goes a long way. At times like these, management is looking people who can boost morale. In addition, happy, positive workers are less likely to get laid off than people who seem to have an aversion to what they do.

20) Be Likable.
It is not easy to be light-hearted when financial situations are rocky. However, research by Tiziana Casciaro and Miguel Sousa Lobo published in a 2005 HBR article, "Competent Jerks, Lovable Fools, and the Formation of Social Networks," found that when people need help with getting a job done, they would typically opt for a friendly and pleasant co-worker rather than a more competent one.


Resources:

http://www.hr.com/SITEFORUM?&t=/Default/gateway&i=1116423256281&application=blog&elementID=1234479098459

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