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Recession-Proof: How To Be An Indispensable Employee In 2020

During times of crisis, many companies are forced to cut costs drastically, resulting in mass layoffs and hiring freezes. If the company isn't making money (or worse, is losing money), it can't afford to keep paying all of its employees.

If you're worried your job might be in jeopardy, it's important to get crystal clear on your ROI. As an employee, you need to ask yourself, are you saving or making the company money?

Want to save your job? Here are some tips to help you stay employed during a recession:

Show Them You're A Money-Maker (Or Saver)

Professional man proves he is an indispensable employee by saving the company money

Many companies are forced to cut costs during challenging or slow periods. If the company isn't making money, it's losing money. As an employee, you need to be able to justify the cost of your employment if you want to keep your job. What's your return on investment?

Think about the main function of your job. Are you bringing in money in some way, shape, or form? For example, an email marketer impacts the bottom line by promoting products to gain new customers and bring back older customers. Or, are you saving money somehow? For example, if you work in operations, you're probably in charge of making processes more efficient so less time and money is spent on them.

It might not be obvious at first, but a company wouldn't hire you if your role wasn't helping them move the needle in some way. If you can identify where you truly impact the bottom line and focus on those activities, you'll increase your chances of holding your position.

Maximize Efficiency And Output

Woman becomes an indispensable employee at work

During times like these, you need to be prepared to add more to your plate since there will likely be layoffs and hiring freezes. Is it going to be overwhelming? Yes. But, in times like these, you need to figure out how to be as efficient as possible to get everything done in order to add value and stay sane.

So, make sure you're prioritizing effectively, focusing on high-payoff activities that move the needle, and closing down any distractions that could keep you from getting your work done. Make a list of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks/projects, figure out your time sucks, and talk to your manager to make sure you're prioritizing the right things.

Get Clear On Your Expectations From Your Manager

Man talks to his manager about her expectations

It might be time to check in with your manager to make sure you're both on the same page in terms of what you should be doing. There might be changes that will impact you, your boss, or your team, so make sure to touch base. During times of high stress, you might be expected to do more with less (or in less time).

Also, if your manager needs extra help, take things off his/her plate. Show him/her you're willing to go above and beyond during challenging times (without complaining) to make his/her life easier. Demonstrate that you're an asset to your team, not a handicap.


Even if you're a high-performer in your organization, there's always a chance that you'll be part of a mass layoff. When a company is going through hard financial times, it will be forced to cut costs and let employees go in order to survive.

If you're worried you might get laid off, check out our FREE Masterclass on the 6 Signs Your Career Isn't Recession-Proof to prepare so you can get back on your feet as soon as possible.


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