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In today’s economy, many people are worried about losing their jobs due to layoffs and cutbacks. For millions there’s the added pressure of having a family to support. The idea of being let go is scary.
Losing the security of a weekly paycheck can cause serious financial and emotional hardship. However, there are several things you can do each day to stay on the “keeper” list and avoid being let go.
Number 1 – Keep a Positive Attitude
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Attitude is everything” and when it comes to keeping your job, is definitely is. It’s no longer enough to just punch a clock, do your assigned tasks and go home. You also need to project a positive, engaging attitude. Make sure your supervisor knows how dedicated you are to your job and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to improve the bottom line.
This doesn’t mean you need to brownnose. Instead, think of it this way: “If they (employees) are offering skills that contribute towards the vision of team/company by way of good ideas, creativity or general team motivation, then that is someone that supervisors want on their team, “ advises Erica Moore-Burton, Vice President of Relativity Staffing Group and Author of ‘The Little Professional P.I.N.K. Book of Success’
A positive attitude means staying motivated, dedicated and in line with your company’s vision. This makes you an asset to the team, someone that management wants to hang on to.
Number 2 – Practice Good Communication
If you’re concerned about losing your job, ask for a meeting with your boss. Instead of voicing your fears about being let go, indicate interest in improving your current skill level. Find out if there is a need for you to be cross-trained for other positions or if there are classes you can take to brush up on your skills.
Reinvention Coach and Brand Strategist, Danielle Miller sums it up this way, “Learning new skill sets or seeking to improve current skill sets are seen as very favorable to employers.” http://www.daniellemmiller.com/work-with-danielle/
When you indicate your willingness to be flexible and improve upon your skill-set, you’re less likely to be seen as expendable.
Number 3 – Stay Flexible
If you’re like most people, you don’t like change. Fear of change is common and doubly so in an uncertain economy. Many companies are restructuring departments. This means hiring new personnel to reduce overhead, combining two or more positions into one, eliminating positions and inventing new ones. You may find you’re now expected to learn a whole new computer system or cope with a reduction in benefits.
The stress of this change may cause you to want to withdraw or rebel, but this will not only affect your work, it may make you look unfavorable in the eyes of management. Instead, take a deep breath and go with it. Change may not be easy, but it’s much better than not having a job.
Take it from business expert and author Artie Lynnworth, “The reality is that unexpected challenges continue to face any organization, and those who can roll with the punches, respond in positive ways, and aggressively take on new duties are the ones that any boss will be happy to have on his or her team.” http://artie.lynnworth.com/AVLbooks/Author.html
Number 4 – Practice Good Customer Service
If you work in customer service, putting your best face (or voice) forward is critical to keeping your job. When talking on the telephone, take a deep breath and smile before you pick up. Offer a professional greeting such as, “Good morning/afternoon, this is (your name) in (your department), how may I help you?”
Believe it or not, people can hear a smile or a frown in your voice. Smiling before you pick up a call will put you in a positive mindset.
Even if you’re in a job that doesn’t offer direct customer service to outside clients, you’re still in a customer service position. Your boss, co-workers and outside vendors are all your customers. So, remember to smile, lend an ear and offer to help whenever you’re needed. It will go a long way in making you look like a keeper.
Number 5 – Curb “Frowned-Upon” Behaviors
Though it’s tempting to gossip when at lunch or hanging around the water cooler, don’t do it. Not only does gossip make you seem untrustworthy, it can make you look bad in front of higher-ups.
Calling out of work often, complaining unnecessarily and conflict with your co-workers can make you look like a “problem employee”. This may inadvertently put you on the radar for termination.
As Donna Ballman, Lawyer and award-winning author puts it, “People who complain about the boss’s professionalism, bullying, ethics, favoritism, general harassment, not being allowed to take breaks – anything that isn’t illegal – aren’t protected from retaliation.” http://www.ballmanfirm.com/
This doesn’t mean, however, that you should take bullying or discrimination lying down. If something that is illegal or constitutes harassment is going on, you need to document it and report it to human resources immediately.
Number 6 – Continue Learning
This goes right along with having a positive attitude. If anybody would know the best way to keep your job, Charles Purdy, senior editor of Monster.com would. His advice: “Take the learning opportunities offered to you, and make sure you tell your boss what you’re doing to better yourself as an employee.” – http://www.monster.com
Number 7 – Keep it Professional
Though it’s tempting to fool around on social networking websites and the like when there’s a lull in the workload, resist. Save that for your lunch breaks or when you’re at home. If your work is all caught up, ask if you can assist in another department or do something to brush up your skills instead. This will make a favorable impression on your boss.
The same goes for personal emails, phone calls and hanging around your co-worker’s desk, chatting and gossiping. If you look like you have nothing to do, you may soon not.
It can be difficult to concentrate on your work when you’re worried about losing your job. But, if you concentrate on putting these seven ways to keep your job into practice, you may find yourself not only retaining your current position, but getting a promotion.