By Johnathan Flanagan
In past recessions, many companies were hesitant to lay off white-collar or specialized workers, the prevailing wisdom being the vacancies these layoffs created would hamper corporate growth once economic times were less dismal. But many companies are willing to take that risk today, because laying off employees is one of the most direct ways of slashing costs.Very few people are safe these days.
Now, every cloud has its silver lining. (i.e. Survivors of a layoff usually find after a workforce purge the path to the top suddenly becomes more direct.) While it is true there’s no foolproof way to avoid a layoff, if you follow these simple tips you’ll hopefully wind up in a corner office rather than the unemployment bureau.
When the powers-that-be are making the decision as to who stays and who goes, the smallest details can sometimes make a difference.Appearance is a good example; little things like dressing up a bit and keeping a neat desk or work area can make a difference in your co-workers’ perception of you.This might seem like a rather obvious point, but a lot of people put this by the wayside.This is especially true in more casual work environments, as some people can take a loose dress code to the extreme by sporting a ratty sweatshirt or torn jeans.The same goes for people who keep a cluttered desk or slouch in their office chair; it can give off the impression that you are a slacker, even if you are not.
Of course a caustic work attitude is not going to help anyone’s case but less obvious is the question of how visible you should be in the workplace.There are two schools of thought here.One is that being more outgoing is best since it projects confidence and leadership.The other is that taking a low-key, introverted approach is the better way to go, because it gives off the impression you are hard-working and dedicated.To be truthful, both of these approaches have their merits, but in the end it is best to tailor your work attitude to your personality and to always have a positive demeanor. Avoid being nervous and paranoid.
This is perhaps the most important trait.In times like this it is important to buckle down and get work done. When it comes down to it, your output is what you’ll be judged on the most.This also means being organized so as to increase efficiency and to keep ahead of the workload.It’s at times like this that a work email application, such as Microsoft Outlook, can be your best friend.Try setting alerts and appointment dates around deadlines and tasks-to-be-done.Automatic reminders can work especially well if you have a lot of work to juggle, as people tend to be more prone to be forgetful if they have a lot on their plate.
In these sink-or-swim times, the difference between a promotion and a pink slip can come down to luck, circumstances, and other factors outside of your control.But if you follow the tips outlined above, you could increase your own odds of survival.