Thoughts To Live By…

Posts Tagged ‘job

If you’re worried about getting laid off, here’s some consolation: So is everyone else. Follow these do’s and don’ts to raise the odds that your job stays, well, yours.

DO take credit… but don’t “walk around with a big neon sign that says I’M GREAT,” says career coach Marie McIntyre. “Look for opportunities to let people know what you’re doing.” One good strategy: Create a paper trail by copying your boss on e-mail (selectively!). And periodically take the initiative to send a summary of what you’re working on.

DON’T ask for a raise or a promotion. Be patient, and be grateful for now that you’ve got a job.

DO volunteer for more work. Companies are making cuts, so someone needs to pick up the extra work. Do it with a smile, and you’re a dream employee.

DO arrive early and stay late. This is obvious and no longer optional. Make your commitment visible by pulling long hours. Also, lay off the text messaging or personal calls during business hours.

DON’T telecommute. “[Bosses] tend to fire people they don’t like or don’t know,” says Stephen Viscusi, author of “Bulletproof Your Job.” Working from home or part-time makes it harder for your boss to know you, so avoid it if you can.

DO chat up your boss and your boss’s boss. If you’re at the cafeteria, strike up a conversation. “Executives love to talk about business, and they’re often as uneasy talking with you as you are with them,” says McIntyre. Be ready with a question, like “I just read about something our competitor’s doing. What’s your take on that?”

DON’T be eccentric. Now’s the time to fit in completely. “Buy some Crest White Strips. Look like you belong there,” says career expert Stephen Viscusi. “Don’t wear perfume or cologne, because maybe you’re wearing the perfume of your boss’s ex-wife.”

DO feel your boss’s pain. If you feel as if you’re being marginalized, talk with your manager and find out what his or her priorities are these days. Ask your boss, “What are your biggest goals right now, and how can I help?”

DON’T be high maintenance. Even if layoffs are necessary, they can also serve as an excuse for companies to fire people they wanted to get rid of anyway. Why? The most frequent issue is attitude: People who are demanding, difficult, or whiny, or otherwise take up too much of their manager’s energy, are the first to go.

If you need something from your boss, there’s a right and a wrong way to ask. “Use the magic phrase, ‘I really want to make this work,'” suggests Deborah Brown-Volkman, a career coach who specializes in counseling financial services professionals. Be clear you’re committed to finding a solution that helps the company. “The worst approach is ‘I don’t have this, I don’t have that,'” Brown-Volkman says. Instead, show how your business will benefit from a fix. If you can’t, then let it go. And always be ready with a solution or two.

The bottom line: Make your boss’s job easier, not harder.

DO stay informed. Set a Google alert for your company so that you’re up on what’s going on. You’ll have a better sense for when layoffs are coming. Plus, smart employees know how their piece of the business fits into the larger picture of what’s happening at the company.

DON’T gossip about the company. It’s tempting to compare notes with co-workers, but obsessing about your fears will only distract you from being productive. “It’s a diversion of your energy, and whatever answers you’re coming up with aren’t that helpful,” says Haberfeld.

DO a self-review. Try this exercise: Imagine your boss, your boss’s boss, and the HR director all sitting in a room, categorizing people. What are they going to say about you? How much do they value your work?

DON’T panic! There may still be a way to save your job if your boss tells you you’re being laid off. “These are the words you always hear: ‘Listen, we have to let you go – it’s a numbers thing,'” says Viscusi. He suggests negotiating and offering to take less pay or work fewer days in the week.

“If they still say no,” he says, “now you’re calling their bluff, allowing yourself to open a bigger severance envelope.” That’s because if a company has trouble explaining why it fired you, there’s room for you to sue for wrongful termination. Some managers might decide it’s easier to throw some money in your direction now than risk losing more down the road.

Article: http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2009/fortune/0901/gallery.yang_bestcompanies_tips.fortune/6.html

Picture: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_oHF-qUKh09c/SPeyYB3nzQI/AAAAAAAAKHA/N7fX6xPDEiw/s400/01.jpg

As we approach the new year, there is a big uncertainty looming everywhere. For a large majority of people, the uncertainty is about their job. Is it safe? In other words, will they have a job or not?

I think the real question should be “Is someone really employable in the new economy or not?” but that’s a topic for another discussion.

This is a quick exercise to do a status check on the “safety” of your job. The questionnaire is in no way complete. The focus is to make you think beyond the “job responsibilities” outlined in your offer letter.

Note: Not all questions are relevant for people at all levels.

1. Is your job core to what the company stands for?

When there is a crisis, an organization tends to drop non-core and adjacent activities. The approach will be to play to their strengths to survive and thrive. If your job does not contribute to the strengths of the organization, you have to quickly re-invent yourself so that it does align with the company core purpose. If what you bring aligns with the strengths of the company, the follow-up question is “how much capacity are you adding to the company?”

2. What will the company/department lose by eliminating your job?

Please note that the question is not, “What will the company gain by keeping you in that job?”

During a crisis, avoiding threats (rather than going after opportunities) will take center stage. If there is no significant threat, there is no big safety net for the job. Even when you are in a strategic R&D project, look at what this R&D project will mean to the company. If you are not happy with the answer, it’s time to re-think, re-invent, and re-act.

3. Who is borrowing the brand power?

Is your department proud of you because of your personal brand? OR

Are you proud of the brand of your department?

The answer should ideally be: Both

4. What is the assessment of your “value” in the eyes of the stakeholders?

If the answer is vague, such as “A lot” or “Significant,” you have to re-visit the topic. Can you quantify your value in some measure, and is that value justifiable?

5. Is your job “offshorable?”

If your job can be moved offshore, then chances are it will be-in some form or fashion. In other words, you have to question yourself about whether you are doing commodity work. If you are doing work that a machine can do or someone in another country can do for a smaller fee, the chances of those moves may be very high. The thing is that you may not have control of your job if you are engaged in commodity work.

6. Do you care as if it’s your own?

If you don’t care about your product as if it’s your own, you can’t expect the company to do that (about you) either. When you care as if it’s your own, the passion is clear. Passionate people win-all the time. In troubled times, an organization needs passionate people to keep the place alive. And, the thing about passion and caring is that you can’t fake them.

7. Can you handle office politics well?

OK, you may not like office politics, but if you are working in an office, you better learn to deal with it. All else being equal, someone who knows how to deal with office politics will always come out a winner.

8. What is the cost of maintaining you?

There is the cost that you can measure (money, overhead, etc.) and there is the cost that is “real”-which includes, but is not limited to, the emotional cost of dealing with you everyday. For example, if you like to whine a lot, you increase your cost of maintenance. In troubled times, if your real cost to the company is significantly higher than the measurable costs, you are in trouble.

9. Are you likeable?

Unless you work for NASA, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist. In tough times (and probably all times) a combination of 7 out of 10 on skills and 9 out of 10 on attitude is preferred to the other way around. If you are not likeable, it will hurt you in ways you would never imagine. People don’t always make rational decisions, but they will definitely rationalize it after they have made the decision. So, people may not dismiss you because you are not likeable, but they will find a way to justify why they dismiss you beyond the likeability factor.

[Thanks to Cool Friend Raj Setty for providing us all with these questions for self-examination. Raj works with entrepreneurs to bring ideas to life and spread their adoption. You can learn more about him at www.rajeshsetty.com or follow him on his blog, Life Beyond Code, or on Twitter @UpbeatNow.]

Source: New World of Work


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