How to Keep Your Job During a Recession

With unemployment rates lingering around the highest they’ve ever been, there are quite a few people out there searching for a job, and let’s face it, it’s slim pickings out there.  You, on the other hand, are not one of those people.  You have survived layoffs, cutbacks, and maybe even decreases in pay.  Now how do you keep it that way?

Perhaps you realize your position could be filled by anyone and you are unfortunately replaceable.  Maybe you are unhappy but have determined that you’re lucky just to have a job in these times.  You might even love your job and simply want to secure it.  No matter your mindset, your goal now is to show your employer how valuable you are.  If anyone could do your job, convince your boss that no one could be as successful as you are in that position.  If you’re unhappy, do your best work-don’t let your productivity and quality start to slide.  If you’ve got your dream job, give your boss reason to believe that you are the best in your field, without question.

Your first task in accomplishing this goal is to remain open to all the changes that are occurring around you.  Your department or even the company as a whole has gotten smaller as people are being laid off or quitting on their own terms.  Do not let this frustrate you, especially in the workplace.  If you need to vent, do so on your own time.  If you feel you should speak to your boss about the current workplace situation, be tactful and professional.  Everyone is taking a hit these days, even your employer, and if you show yourself incapable of taking it in stride, you will be among the next group of people to be laid off.

Now is a great opportunity to show off your skills and maybe even learn some new ones.  Even with fewer employees, the same jobs still need to be done with the same quality and in a timely manner.  Don’t be afraid to volunteer yourself for these extra projects, especially if you’ve noticed responsibilities being taken away from you-that’s a bad sign.  If you eventually want to move up in your company or switch departments, consider taking on projects outside of what people already know you can do.  Use this time to reveal skills that you are unable to display in your current position or show how quickly you can learn new ones and successfully apply them.  Not only will your boss make sure to keep you the next time cuts need to be made, but once things improve, you could end up with that promotion you’ve been wanting.

Keep your current skills fresh.  Make sure you’re working to the best of your ability and then some.  Look into some extra training or ask about conferences in your field to show that you are truly applying yourself and are personally invested in the success of your company.  If you can remain positive and continue to be productive and just a little bit more helpful than the next person, you can stand out.  Your employer needs healthy attitudes and dedication to help the company survive, or you’ll both be out of a job.  Be proactive and your name won’t come up when things get tighter, except when your boss mentions what an asset you are!

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