Unemployment is slowly declining, but many employers are still downsizing. Just last week Sony announced it was restructuring and letting go of 2,000 workers.
How can you make sure that you're not laid off? If you make sure to demonstrate your value, you can increase the odds that your job won't be eliminated. Here are 5 tips:
1. Focus on a mission-critical area.
Evaluate your skill set and concentrate on what makes you valuable to the company's mission, and make sure that you do significant work in that area. Become the go-to person in a particular area so that you're relied upon as an expert.
2. Be positive.
Once rumors circulate that there will be a downsizing, employee morale plummets. Vent at home, but stay upbeat with colleagues. Management knows that negativity is toxic and will be less inclined to keep on the person who is viewed as stirring the pot.
If your boss doesn't know what you do well, chances are, he or she won't be able to tell someone else why you shouldn't be let go. Consider sending a monthly email with your achievements, goals met or solutions provided. Anonymity is dangerous -- be seen, heard, and speak up so others know what you are accomplishing.
4. Show an extraordinary work ethic.
Get into the office on time (or early) and don't be the first to leave. I'm not just suggesting facetime; productivity is what counts. Use your time wisely; ask for new assignments and go way beyond your job description.
Everyone needs a sponsor, someone who is willing to put his or her reputation on the line to advance your career in the company. Seek out colleagues who will recognize your promotability and commitment to the organization. You can't sign up for a sponsor -- that relationship happens organically, but you can position yourself wisely to volunteer for projects with influential players and grow a mentorship into a sponsorship by earning their respect.
Consider where you want to go next, and develop relationships.
Many layoffs are simply based on budgets. The reality is, if you take all of these steps, you'll have built a strong reputation -- and the contacts -- that will enable you to have a soft landing and move to a new job.
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