Executive Coaching Articles

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.