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Layoff Rumors? Get Ready To Get Busy
There is no magic formula for guaranteeing employment security, but there are a number of steps you can take to avoid the likelihood of a layoff.
One is to make sure your work is recognized and appreciated by your supervisors and colleagues as much as possible. When layoff rumors start to fly, many people mistakenly hunker down in the hopes of becoming invisible. But instead you should send out periodic progress reports and updates.
Also, be clear about what your responsibilities are and make sure you are meeting them. Take pride in your job and go that extra mile. You'll want to make yourself irreplaceable. Companies are less likely to get rid of their star performers.
Continue to educate yourself by looking for opportunities at your company and elsewhere to learn new and diverse skills. This can only help you at your current job as well as down the road when you're looking for a new one.
Meanwhile, look for ways to help your employer reduce costs, increase revenues or reposition a product or service. Think about your company's situation in the same fashion that your boss is thinking about it.
During tough economic times, you may be asked to take on additional work that was part of a former employee's responsibilities. This may involve handling tasks you're overqualified to perform or that you don't like. But expressing dismay could put your employment at risk should there be more layoffs. Displaying a positive attitude is more likely to pay off in the long run as employers remember those who helped them out through tough times.
If layoffs are rampant at your company, consider offering to take a temporary salary reduction. If nothing else, this can prolong your time there while you can begin hunting for a new position.
Look outside your department or division. It may be easier to search for another position within your firm because you've already proven yourself there. Network with colleagues who work in those areas to learn about job openings before they're advertised publicly and to see if you can secure a referral.
If you work for a company in distress, your first instinct may be to jump ship. But if your new employer decides to lay off workers, you could be at risk for getting the dreaded pink slip first. In many cases, it's last hired, first fired.
You don't want to wait until you need help finding a job to network. Make a special effort to reconnect in a meaningful way with past bosses, former colleagues, academic advisers and other potential advocates. Reaching out to them only in times of distress can be a turn-off. Also, make sure to offer yourself as a resource to your contacts.
Most importantly, be smart and prepared either for the worst or a better opportunity. Your highest priority should be an updated resume, focused on your most marketable skills. You don't want to have to rush to get it done following a sudden dismissal or when a great job opportunity suddenly comes along.
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