21 Ways to Stay Employed

It’s no secret: life is uncertain. Restructuring, downsizing, and mergers can force companies to layoff even excellent performers. Many employees live in a constant state of fear about losing their jobs. On average, 1 out of 2 employees believe that they do not have a good future with their organization.

Staying employed involves more than just doing a good job. Here are 25 things you can do right now to tip the odds in your favor:

1. Focus on accomplishments
And the ways you can do that: make the organization money, save the organization money, or develop something new for the organization. Your value will increase in your organization and in the marketplace if you can point to tangible results that you have achieved.

2. Volunteer for assignments
Be the first person to say yes to a new assignment, project, or committee,

3. Provide value to your boss
You should have a clear understanding of what is important to your boss and how you can help him or her attain tangible accomplishments. Become the person who your boss turns to when something important needs to be done.

4. Focus
Make certain that you are not spread too thin. Focusing on one or two projects, activities, or initiatives will increase the probability that you will achieve tangible accomplishments.

5. Become a valued resource rather than a readily available commodity
Develop a unique expertise, clientele, or knowledge base.

6. Avoid becoming an expert in non-marketable arenas
If you focus on becoming an expert in an aging technology, product, or service, you will eventually become a dinosaur and a prime candidate for the next round of layoffs.

7. Don't make enemies
You never know what might happen if you make an enemy within your organization. Provide the best service possible to all of your internal customers. Make certain you do not intentionally embarrass or speak ill of others in the organization.

8. Don't finger point
Focus on what you can do to improve the situation instead of pointing fingers out

9. Be visible
If you just hide out in your office or cubicle, you will not develop the relationships with others in the organization that can help you stay employed.

10. Stay ahead of the curve
Just as late adopters to new technology are viewed as behind the times, late adopters of any new philosophy, goal, or strategy are also not valued.

11. Curry favor with your boss's boss
Maintain visibility with your boss's boss. Go out of your way to meet his or her expectations.

12. Recognize the signs
Don't turn a deaf ear to news about the organization's declining profits, rumors about a merger or acquisition, or changes in the direction of the organization. Be alert for signs that your boss does not hold you in high esteem. Ignore these signs at your own peril.

13. Network within the organization
Get to know the department heads and other key players throughout the organization. Switching jobs internally is often more beneficial that switching organizations because it will enable you to keep your seniority, salary grade, benefits, accrued vacation days, and retirement vesting.

14. Join professional associations
Become an active member of at least one professional association in your field. Attending professional meetings will enable you to learn from the speakers and your colleagues.

15. Keep in touch with recruiters
You may periodically receive what you view as annoying calls from recruiters. However, they often know about opportunities that are not advertised.

16. Continually develop your marketable skills
If you don't have one, consider getting an advanced degree by attending evening classes. Also, seek out opportunities at work that enable you to gain new marketable skills.

17. Keep in touch with former co-workers and former bosses

18. Move to the tension with your boss
Avoiding your boss or denying that there is a problem will only make it worse. Schedule a sit down and discuss any concerns about your performance so that you can improve.

19. Start looking when you are assigned a new boss
When you are assigned a new boss, do your best to meet all of your new boss's expectations but realize that he or she might prefer replacing you with a hand-picked new person.

20. Keep your resume current
This will help prepare you for sudden unemployment. It will also focus you on amassing tangible accomplishments in your current job.

21. Be ready and willing to abandon ship
You need to adopt the same attitude. If you are not learning or growing, doing the type of work you enjoy, or earning the money you feel you deserve, be ready to jump to a position that better meets your needs.

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