Posted by Larry Brantley on December 24, 2008
We get calls everyday from people who have abruptly found themselves hitting the streets.These people have many years of experience and are not the “rejects”.Some organizations have found themselves with a duplication of efforts internally either through corporate mergers, overstaffing and quite often over projections of budgets.The first thing many executives will do is “trim the fat”.
Unfortunately, the formula for trimming is not something any of us can project.It isn’t always the weakest performers or problem employees. Sometimes it is the most junior of employees who get the ax, while other times it is the most senior level salaries that seem to make the biggest bottomline impact.
My advice to all of you is the same as the Boy Scout motto- ” Be Prepared”.None of us are immune from a company’s reduction in staff.It is imperative to keep yourself job worthy at all times.With the average job tenure today of 2 years, the loyalty factor between Employers and Employees is almost non-existent.You have to make yourself valuable and keep improving your skills.Today’s marketplace is not the same as many of our parents.Back then, you developed a trade and it pretty much was consistent throughout your career.Now roles are changing on a daily basis.If you can’t keep up with the changes, you will be part of the “dead” industries from not so long ago (remember the Typehouse).
Part of all our preparation can be summed up as follows:
1- Know your marketplace (Know your potential industry and the companies who utilize your skills)
2- Stay current with training and technology (By keeping up with the most current releases of software and computer technology, you become the “company guru”.Staying ahead of the game puts you ahead of the competition.It also helps to keep your salary ahead also.
3- Keep your resume and/or portfolio up to date (Don’t let that dust collect.Keep everything current and in presentation format)
4- Keep an eye on job opportunities (Don’t necessarily jump at anything that comes along, but by watching hiring trends and salary ranges you are better prepared should anything happen)
5- Share the Responsibility of Your Performance Assessment with your Supervisor (Don’t wait for someone to come to you and tell you how your are doing.Your assumption may be totally different from their view.Make sure you know how others view your work.Ask for your annual review in writing.Take the initiative to write your own self-assessment.Document your successes for later reference).
6- Keep in contact with your Strong Business references (Protect those relationships.They can be the difference between a yes or no)
While the market today is somewhat unstable, it will get better.Things always go in cycles and those who can dig deep and survive the storm will be that much stronger in the end.Employers are much more likely to hang onto employees who are constantly working to improve their performance and skills.You are making yourself hard to replace.