While a recession may not be inevitable, the economy is showing slowed growth, and this could mean that some companies consider downsizing. Worries about a US recession have many also worrying about their jobs.
You want to make sure that you can keep your job if times get tougher. Here are five things you can do to improve your chances of being kept on:
- Come up with ways to cut costs. See areas of waste at your company? Point out practical ways to improve efficiency and cut costs in the workplace. Obviously, now is not the time to ask for a raise. Bonus: If you can see a potential new revenue stream that requires a low (or better yet, no) cost investment, get that going. Someone who is innovative at stretching resources is more valuable than someone who does nothing more than consume them.
- Boost your visibility. You want to be noticed in a positive way. Make sure you are on time to work, and that you limit your vacation time. Also, if you are making solid contributions, make sure that they are noticed. You don’t have to be obnoxious about it, but you should make sure that your boss is aware of what you add to the company. You want to be known. The first people fired are those with a negative impression. The next to go are those that are unnoticed and therefore expendable.
- Go beyond. Look for ways to go beyond what you’ve been told to do. Volunteer for additional tasks. But be careful! Don’t volunteer for more than you can handle. You want to be known as a go-getter who gets the job done well.
- Improve your skill set. Are your skills obsolete? Take extra classes to brush up the latest skills. If career improvement seminars are offered at work, attend them. You want to show your employer that you are still viable in the workplace, and that you have the necessary training to continue doing a good job.
- Watch your attitude. Now is not the time to complain constantly. If you have constructive ways to make the workplace better, present them in a professional manner. Do not whine or complain excessively. A reputation as a morale-killer can lose you your job.
And, because there’s no guarantee that you will retain your job in a recession, no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. On your own time, update your resume. Also, make sure that you are still networking with old bosses, co-workers and business contacts. Don’t wait until you are laid off to keep your contacts and resume fresh. You will get better results if you are prepared ahead of time.