Posted by: endithinks | June 17, 2008

On Being Lay off Proof

With the economy going the way it is going quite a few people are concerned about where they will work if they are layed off.  It is what is called an adaptive fear that should be harnessed to motivate a person to take steps to prevent the unfortunate economic decisions of a lay off.

This article here does a great job of some practical steps a person can take to make themselves harder to let go.  Five Ways to be Lay off Proof

I also have a few ideas that have helped me in the past when the spectre of lay offs and firings was rising from the grave.

Firstly,  do your job better than you have ever done it before.  If you have been performing at the level of avoidance (the level I define as doing the least work possible just enough to avoid being fired) you need to crank up your work ethic and start being the type of employee that you were most likely at the beginning of your job.  Find that inner spark that excitement about the job and use that justifiable fear to push your hard work to a new degree of dedication. 

You can start by staying late and coming in early.  Find ways to increase your face time at work even if it is by a small amount.  Even a change of 15 minutes early would be a noticeable change if you like most unmotivated workers slip through the doors right on time or a few minutes late. 

Another way to crank up your work performance is to volunteer for different activities and to volunteer your input and voice during meetings.  Start participating instead of just sitting and absorbing. 

Secondly, build up your working relationships.  The key to any relationship is time and mutual respect.  Build up your working relationships not only with the supervisor, but also with your fellow co workers as this will enable you to erect a bit of protection.  Also when you have a good relationship with co workers work is more pleasant and it is a proven fact that those that are pleased work harder and better. 

Relationships are the core of any business and there are simple ways in which you can build them up without having to make it painfully obvious that you are floating in a sea of anxiety.  You can do something as simple as bring an extra coffee to work when you stop by at Starbucks.  You can also bring a bunch of cookies once in a while, or make Fridays your chips and salsa day.  It doesn’t have to be anything expensive and I’ve found the more humble the offering the better received.

You can also get to know your coworkers a bit more.  Volunteer to help them without being asked.  Have lunch with them and have small talk.  You can even use these lunches to talk shop.  don’t be an isolationist.  Don’t be the one who always turns down invitations. 

With these steps you can improve your chance of surviving the Lay Off Tsunami.  But, let’s be practical here, you should also have a contigency plan.  Start working on that resume and fire up the typewriter and start reconnecting with your past supervisors and coworkers.  Get those letters out and just write to “check in.”



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