How To Keep Your Job During A Recession

by Robb Sutton

I heard a story from a friend today about the company they work for. As of tomorrow, there are going to be 40 employees laid off in a company of around 220. Now…while 40 employees may not sound like a lot, that is a large percentage of that companies work force. As times get tougher around the world…one question is on the minds of many workers…

How can I keep my job through these rough times?

I wish I could tell you that the answer was easy…but it isn’t. There are many factors that affect job security, and…in the end…you can still do everything right but still lose your employment. Here are some tips to help you stay at the forefront of the companies mind as a leader who can not be spared.

  1. Make Yourself Unfireable Through Diversification – This is possible to do and it is actually really easy! First, you need to do the job you are paid for…and well, but on top of that, you need to diversify your skills into other areas of the company. First and foremost, you are responsible for what you are paid to do…so make sure you completely take care of that end of your job. In the process, learn new skills throughout the company. When the decision makers of a firm go through the process of deciding who is going to go or stay, they look at many factors. One of the most contributing factors of keeping an employee is their ability to pick up the slack of the one that will leave. The more skills you have that benefit the bottom line, the more you are worth for the same amount of pay. Yes…you will not be getting paid extra for your new skills that you bring to the table…but you will still have your job and Joe Smith down the street will be on the unemployment line. When the market does turn…and it will…your new skill set is a bargaining chip for more pay or a higher paying job.
  2. Make Yourself Irreplaceable – Another thought that goes through key decisions makers minds when deciding on layoff candidates is the amount of time and money it will take to replace that employee. If you are seen as irreplaceable in the eyes of your employer…then you will be in there for the long haul. How can you do this?
    • Do your job better than anyone else ever possibly could. This means that you are going above and beyond to the point that your overall worth to the company is far greater than your salary. A firms key goal is to get as much as they can for the lowest cost. During these rough times, your goal should to provide the greatest amount of return for the firms investment in your well being. You are not going to get the raise you deserve, but again…you will still be employed.
    • Work Well With Others – It is time to leave ego at the door. Those employees that are always causing problems in the workplace or are the ones that always say…”That’s not my job!” are going to be the first to go. Now is the time to stick your diplomatic hat on and hit the job with full force. If you work well with other employees in the firm and help out where needed…that increases your worth even further.
  3. Position Yourself As A Leader – Companies need leaders now more than ever. You might not be in a position that where leadership is required, but now is the time to take hold of responsibility and show that you can lead when needed. Companies are run by leaders and followers work 9-5. If you can effectively lead others, you can lead the company through the rough times.

Some Very Important Points To Remember

  • Keep A Level Head – Leave your emotion and ego at the door. When you are emotional…you are irrational…which means you are replaceable. You are going to get negative feedback from other employees when you start to step outside of the box. Take constructive criticism and ignore those who are not happy with your new outlook on your job.
  • Do Not Have An Attitude That “This place would fall apart without me…” – The truth with any company is that once you are gone…things continue on. There might be a slight blip on the radar, but EVERYONE IS REPLACEABLE! Your job is to put forward the image that you are not replaceable and that you provide a substantial benefit to the company.
  • The 9-5 Gig Is Gone –  You can no longer just go to work, do just enough to keep your head above water and then go home to start it all over again. You have to bring something different and unique to the table. You have to stand out. You have to make a difference!

In an ideal world, everyone would have a job and get paid what they think they are worth…but this is not possible. In reality, that is also not good for the economy, so during these rough time it is important to set yourself apart from the worker next to you.

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Dealing With A Job Loss: What To Do When You’re Laid Off | Bible Money Matters January 27, 2009 - 7:04 am

[…] How To Keep Your Job During A Recession […]

Monroe on a Budget January 28, 2009 - 10:00 am

snippet: Yes…you will not be getting paid extra for your new skills that you bring to the table…but you will still have your job and Joe Smith down the street will be on the unemployment line.

That’s a very good point. I know of situations where a layoff would happen regardless of what the employee did … however, in cases where there there appears to be some leeway about who and when, this is the tactic to take.

Monroe on a Budget’s last blog Foreclosure freefall can be fast

Robb January 28, 2009 - 6:10 pm

There are some situations that no matter what you do…the outcome is going to be the same. All we can do is try to plan for the future as best as we possibly can.


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