While businesses are no longer laying off employees in large numbers as they were 2 or 3 years ago, the recession is still dragging on. As 2012 approaches, companies may realize they need to cut costs still more, and that might mean cutting jobs.
Though no job is entirely recession-proof, and there may be nothing you can do to prevent being laid off, here are four things you can do to improve your chances of retaining your job in tough times.
Increase your visibility: If layoffs are coming, you may think it’s a good idea to fly under the radar and hope nobody notices you. It’s much smarter to do the opposite – be seen and heard throughout your organization. If you haven’t already, work on developing strategic relationships with your superiors. Make yourself available for additional projects and assignments. When management has to decide who to let go, it’s easier for them to fire “that guy in accounting” rather than you, someone they know and trust.
Enhance your skill set: Turn yourself into a company asset by building and improving your skills and increasing your knowledge of your department. Broaden your contributions by learning different tasks and have more than one skill set. The more you can do, the greater value you have to an employer, Also, if you do get laid off, you now have more expertise and a stronger resume.
Be an asset: Make sure you are adding value to the company’s bottom line, not just taking up space. Understand and fulfill your job responsibilities with care and minimal supervision. If your manager sees that you can handle the details, he’ll know he can depend on you to get the job done and turn his focus to his own duties. And be proactive: don’t always wait to be told what to do, but take initiative in finding innovative ways to be productive.
Stay positive: Your attitude is crucial in the face of impending layoffs. Stay positive and don’t let it affect your work performance. Whether you get hit or not, you’ll have proved yourself a solid employee and will be ready to take on the next challenge.
Put yourself in the place of your employer. If you had to choose between an employee who was personable, hard working, interested in becoming a better employee and upbeat—and one who lacks these qualities—which would you keep on the payroll?