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Tips to Reduce Your Chances of Being Laid Off [Fulfillment@Work]

Fulfillment @ Work


November 11th , 2008
   ISSN: 1533-3906

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Please forward this newsletter about how to reduce your chances of being laid off to your family, friends, and coworkers.

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Last Friday, the U.S. government released the nation's latest employment data. And the numbers aren't pretty. Another 240,000 jobs were lost in October and the unemployment rate jumped to 6.5 percent, the highest it's been since March 1994.

Unless you're an undertaker or bankruptcy attorney, it seems like no job is safe in this uncertain economy.

If you've been a casualty, I encourage you to read the following Newsweek article. A number of experts (myself included) provide some sound advice on what to do if you've lost your job.

For the rest of you, this isn't the time to hunker down and hope you're not the next victim. Take charge of your career! There are a number of things you can do to reduce your chances of being laid off. I've included them in the article below.

Good luck!




Garfinkle Executive Coaching
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Tips to Reduce Your Chances of Being Laid Off

Stephen Viscusi, author of the book "Bulletproof Your Job: Four Strategies to Ride Out the Tough Times and Come Out on Top at Work", says the key to staying employed is:

  • Be visible, even if it means giving up telecommuting.
  • Be easy, even if it means negotiating a reduced salary.
  • Be useful, even if it means volunteering for assignments no one else wants.
  • Be ready to jump ship if opportunities outside your company become available.

Here are five other ways to improve your chances of staying employed:

1. Constantly demonstrate your value to your company.

Look for opportunities to showcase your talents and special skills. Focus your work on high priority assignments that have the greatest impact on your company's bottom line.

2. Promote your accomplishments.

Don't assume your boss (or other execs) recognize your contributions. Regularly update your supervisor on your progress. Whenever possible, include financial impacts, such as increased sales revenue, expense savings, etc. When you receive compliments from clients or customers, ask them to put it in writing so you can share them with the powers-that-be.

3. Take advantage of "bad" times.

As companies downsize, the "survivors" are often asked to pick up the additional work. Understandably, this causes resentment and hard feelings. Instead of complaining, look at this as an opportunity to increase your value to your organization. Then, even if you are laid off, this additional experience and responsibility will make you that much more employable.

4. Make yourself indispensable to clients.

Most companies go out of their way to make sure their payroll cuts have the least impact on clients. The more valuable you are to your clients (both internal and external) the more secure your job will be.

5. Be positive.

Be optimistic and maintain a positive attitude. Not only will you be more productive (and perceived as adding more value than the complainers), you'll also live longer. One study showed that optimistic people had a 55 percent lower risk of death from all causes and 23 percent lower risk of death from heart failure.

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"The biggest mistake you can make is to believe you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career."

Earl Nightingale


"Why are CEO's who slash jobs so proud of themselves? Instead of bragging about 'cutting fat,' they ought to be getting up before their employees and saying, 'We did such a lousy job of planning and hiring that we have more people than work. And we are so broke and so dim-witted that we can't come up with any way to get more work. So our only solution is to send a lot of good people home. I am ashamed and I am sorry.'"

Dale Dauten


"The number one thing is to be one of those people who gets a lot of work done very well, very fast. Don't be scared into submission by all the downsizing activity. That's exactly the wrong message to take."

Bruce Tulgan

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Copyright 2008, Joel Garfinkle, all rights reserved.
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