When the whole world, let alone the whole country, is talking about a recession, it is hard not to get panicky about your own job. This is not the time to sit back and worry about your fate, however. It is the time to be proactive. Here are some tips on how to move your name lower down the layoff list, and if you know of any others, drop me a note to share them.
1. Stay cheerful and positive
A study carried out by the Harvard Business Review showed that it is not necessarily the most skilled or proficient employees who keep their jobs in a recession, but those who are cheerful and generous contributors to the company. If you are spending your days commiserating with your colleagues about the state of the world and bringing everybody around you down, your name just moved up the list. If you were already suffering from negative attitudes in better times, then maybe it is time to think about making a move to a different company or a different job. Attitude is everything.
2. Stay motivated and help to motivate others
Yes there is a recession on, but it should be your aim to help see your company through it, and that takes more effort than in a healthier economic climate. Don’t just do your job. Go and speak to your manager and ask if there is anything extra that you can be doing to help. Explain that you understand that you all need to do more at a time like this and offer to take on extra tasks or responsibilities. Help to motivate others and discourage them from negative talk and attitudes, and help to keep your workplace a positive and efficient environment.
3. Don’t be invisible
If the people that matter do not even know who you are or what you contribute, they are going to have fewer qualms about letting you go. Raise your profile by making positive contributions to the company’s effort.
4. Be on your best behavior
Your manager might tolerate lateness, frequent absence or underperformance under normal circumstances, but he certainly will not when times get tough. Recessions are the perfect opportunity for employers to get rid of trouble-makers and poor performers, so make sure that you are not one of them.
5. Prove your relevance
Not only will employers use tough times to let go of people who do not appear to add value, but also roles. Take the opportunity to demonstrate the relevance of your job to the company and convince them that it is an indispensable one.
6. Demonstrate your ability to make savings
You do not have to be a budget holder to help cut costs. Try to think of ways that you and/or your team could help to make savings on behalf of the company and present these to your manager to demonstrate your willingness.
7. Improve your performance
You might think that you pull out all the stops already, but now is the time to go that extra mile. Make sure that every task or project that you are involved in demonstrates your excellence and avoid making any decisions that you will regret when the recession ends. Give it your all and think ahead.