6 Ways NOT to Lose Your Job
Like they say: There’s little consolation in being the best-looking horse in the glue factory. Knowing that many of our friends have lost their jobs is little comfort when you lose your job. So, let’s get ahead of the curve—and talk about how to stay employed.
1. Earn your keep. When we’re on the boss’ clock that means we should be working for the boss. Billions of work hours are lost yearly by employees who add an extra five or ten minutes to their breaks, or spend company time buying gifts on the Internet, or making personal phone calls. Besides being morally wrong—this is also stupid behavior.
Employers are looking for team players. If you are not clearly helping to pull the company cart—you’re probably in it. Employees who don’t pull their own weight (and a little extra) are an endangered species, and will tend to be the first to be laid off.
2. Understand that perception is reality. These days, it’s more important than ever, to be your own public relations person promoting “Brand YOU!” Of course, done incorrectly, this can come off badly and do more harm than good. You don’t want to be a self-promoter. But you do want to be known for your diligence.
3. Become GREAT at what you do. Strive for excellence. I used to tell my employees that if they did their job well, there would come a wonderful day for them: The day that I would need them more than they needed me!
There are great dividends to be had by becoming the best in your field (or, at least
the best in your office.) Take time to learn your company’s culture. Be an information sponge. Read articles in professional journals. Go the extra several miles.
4. Take on extra duties. The more readily you accept an extra assignment, the less likely you will be to get a pink slip. There are a hundred ways to do this. Why not be the person who learns how the computer server network links the computers together? Or, become the one who knows how to fix the copier when it jams.
5. Be sympathetic. Try to put yourself into the boss’ shoes. Understand the pressures that she deals with daily. Then, look for ways to lighten her load. Zig Ziglar used to say, “You can always get all that you want, if you will first help enough other people get what they want.”
6. Be a nice person. Sounds overly simplistic doesn’t it? But the truth is it’s hard to fire a really nice person that everyone likes.
Will these tips save my job? No, not necessarily. But, by applying them, they will
help on two levels: First, their application will lessen the likelihood you’ll be asked to leave. And, two, if you are laid off you’ll know that you did everything right—and have no regrets.