In today’s economy, many people are losing their jobs. Businesses are being heavily taxed, and executives are punished for their success. Small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the American economy, are suffering as well, and are being forced to cut back in many ways. Unfortunately, one of the first places any company looks when they need to cut their budget, is their employee pool. These days, almost anyone could be at risk to lose their job, and with unemployment rising, it can be a daunting task to find another job. A simple solution to preventing this situation is to simply keep your job in the first place.
In order to improve your chances of retention, there are many different and varied areas in which an employee can stand out from their peers. Paying attention to the needs of their company is a simple way that any employee can shine. By understanding these needs, an employee has the opportunity to offer ideas and suggestions that can improve their company’s situation. Having candid and thoughtful conversations with your supervisor to communicate your ideas, and your interest in the success of the company will go a long way toward fostering a positive working relationship, which translates into job security. Ensuring that you are seen as being loyal to the company will give you an edge over less-dedicated peers. It may seem obvious, but simply doing your job well is a very important aspect in job security. Finally, marketing yourself as though you are still on a job interview is crucial to maintaining a positive image in your workplace.
It is common knowledge that conducting research about a company is important prior to going on a job interview. This research allows a prospective employee to understand more fully what they have to offer, and in what ways they can provide value to the company. If they have a full command of this information, they are able to more successfully ‘sell’ themselves to the interviewer. Once they are employed, however, it is common for many people to forget about these concepts. In this economy, however, it is important to continue to sell yourself, even after becoming employed. Understanding where the strengths and weaknesses of your company lie is key to finding ways to augment strengths, and shore up weak areas.
Most companies have programs that reward employees for coming up with ways to improve a process, save money, save time, or reduce waste. Even if your company doesn’t have this type of program, it is advantageous to identify ways to help the situation. If you see a simple way to save money, bring it up to your supervisor. Make sure he or she is aware that you understand the difficult economic situation, and that every dollar counts in this economy. Set yourself a goal to identify at least one way to save money or time every week. If your ideas are implemented, and successful, you will improve your standing in the company, and bolster an image of company loyalty.
Working to ensure that your supervisor and co-workers see you as an individual who is extremely dedicated to the company is very important to keeping your position. One way to accomplish this is by having candid discussions with your supervisor about the company’s situation, as well as your ideas for improvement. It is crucial that you communicate your enthusiasm for your position, and loyalty to the company. Your willingness to work extra hours and do what it takes in order to help the company succeed are important to your supervisor as well. Given the choice, any manager will choose to retain a dedicated employee over an employee who clocks in and out on the hour, so make sure that your actions speak louder than your words. Come in early, leave late, and avoid long lunches.
While you are at work, make sure you’re doing your job, and doing it well. I mean REALLY well. No half-hearted attempts, or days spent gossiping over the water cooler. You have to really work like your job depends on it – because it does! If you DO your job, you are much more likely to KEEP your job, even as the economy goes south. In addition to limiting your time around the water-cooler, think about curtailing other activities, such as smoking. (At least at work) Yes, the non-smokers can usually see you lounging around out there in the fresh air, yukking it up with the other smokers, while they’re stuck in their offices working… and Yes, they resent you for it. If your boss (or his/her boss) happens to be a non-smoker, you can bet that smokers will be the first on the chopping-block. A lot of productive time is lost to the smoke-breaks, which gives them a perfect excuse to get rid of a smoker over a non-smoker. If you want to keep your job, your best bet is to avoid smoking (or any activity that gives the appearance of being a waste of time) during business hours.
Avoiding the appearance of wasting time, showing yourself to be a dedicated employee, finding ways to add value to the company, and discussing all of the above with your supervisor are all good strategies to presenting yourself in the best possible light to your employer. In the current economic downturn, when profits are plummeting and unemployment is rising, employees must explore all avenues to increasing their value (or perceived value) to their company. Following all of these suggestions, as well as continuing to present your best impression to your employer, just as you did while interviewing for the position, will weigh heavily in your favor, and greatly increase your odds of being able to keep your job in these tough economic times.