The recession might be easing its grip on the economy, but that good news comes too late to stop a lot of companies from trimming payroll. If the layoff rumors are swirling at your workplace, you’re not alone, and you aren’t helpless.
Take these 8 measures to make sure you and your job look indispensable.
1. Avoid the rumor mill
Layoffs suck. We get it. And some people would rather talk about the trouble your company’s in than do anything about it. Steer clear of them if you can. More importantly, don’t be one of them. Keep busy doing your job, and the ones sitting around talking are more likely to be the ones to go.
2. No drama
In down times, things at the office can get testy. You might be understaffed, overworked, and all-around unhappy with the people around you. But if you want to continue working, you have to eliminate the extra-curricular tension. Do your best to give your co-workers the benefit of the doubt and get along. Any personal conflicts distracting you from your job just make you easier to fire.
3. Support your boss
Call it brown-nosing, sucking up, selling out, whatever. If your boss needs to eliminate a position or two, he or she will start with the people who make life more difficult. Try to sympathize with the position your superiors are in and do your best to make them look good. Don’t go overboard or be disingenuous, just be helpful, supportive, and unselfish, and you might just find a spot on your boss’s “untouchable” list.
4. Think bottom line
Instead of getting paranoid about your own job, think about the success of the department or company overall. Concentrating on what your business needs to do to thrive will help you see the meaning in your role, and it might help you eliminate unnecessary tasks. Don’t just think about making it through the day or lasting until Friday, make the company’s goals your goals, and you’re bound to be noticed.
5. Talk about what’s working
Do your best to stay positive, not perky to the point of annoying, just not a downer. Resist the natural urge to complain about what’s going wrong at work. Remind people of the successes, even the small ones, and you can help avoid cultivating a depressing atmosphere. You’ll also be viewed as a positive contributor, no one wants to get rid of people who make the office a better place to work.
Be careful not to catch yourself saying, “That’s not my job.” With that kind of attitude the definition of “your job” might take a drastic turn you really won’t like. Be willing to take on new or different responsibilities to show you’re a team player with versatile skills. Also be willing to offer suggestions of new ways to improve efficiency. Keep the boss thinking about what you can do, not what you can’t.
7. Aim high
One of the best ways to stay positive is to keep making goals for yourself and doing your best to meet them. It will help with your attitude as well as giving you specific accomplishments to point to at review time slot joker . . . or just over lunch. Without goals, it’s much harder to keep track of tangible reasons why you’re a keeper.
8. Stay positively social
Don’t get lost in your job. If you’re so busy doing your job that you never talk to anyone, it can get very easy for people to forget you’re there. Not everyone in the workplace, even the bosses, always make decisions based strictly on practicality. It’s easiest for the company to say goodbye to someone no one really knows. Stay connected, and stay employed.