Saturday, November 22, 2008

Career Strategies - Don't Hide If You Want to Save Your Job

The Dow has given back ten years of gains. Unemployment is up. Consumer confidence is diving.

Your company is way off its sales target - with no relief in sight. There have already been a few layoffs; it seems inevitable that there will be further workforce reductions. You're simply waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sound like your situation?

You're not alone. But don't follow suit and make the same mistake so many employees make when they think their jobs may be at risk.

Do not hide.

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard a person tell me he (or she) is just going to "put my head down and try not to be noticed until the storm blows over"....well, you get my point.

I know it seems counter intuitive to put yourself out there. You're thinking if you avoid bringing any attention to yourself, then it's less likely you'll be added to the list of those who are going to be cut next.

It doesn't work that way.

By making yourself scarce, you're actually helping senior management make the decision you don't want them to make.

Instead, how about helping them understand why they should keep you?

If management sees how you're contributing to the bottom line - or helping to trim costs - they will be more likely to retain you. Do not count on anybody else to make your case for you. Do not assume the people who are making these decisions know what kind of an asset you are to the organization.

When the going gets tough, jump in and actively do what you can to help right the ship. How can you and your team/division contribute? Present those ideas to your boss. Don't rest on your laurels...what you did last year doesn't matter so much right now.

If you telecommute, get to the office more often. You know the saying, "out of sight, out of mind?" Sure you do. Believe it.

If you've got a vacation scheduled, postpone it. I know people who went ahead with planned time off and came back to find they had no job.

Whatever you do, make yourself visible. Avoid any impulse to stick your head in the sand.

Rebecca Metschke is the author of The Interview Edge, a comprehensive career guide for those who are serious about their careers. Gain a professional advantage using proven tips, tools and strategies that will help ensure you're as marketable as you can be.

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