Although our company isn't facing large layoffs, two or three people have
been asked to leave, and I'm worried about job security. Our industry is flat,
our company is reorganizing, and I could be next. What should I do?
You're right to be concerned about your future. Although large 300 to
500-person layoffs are less common today, they still occur, often unexpectedly.
A much bigger worry: the one or two-person cutback that could affect you.
Mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, and corporate reorganizations are the watchwords
of the 90s. Since I spend all day, every day, working with people who have lost
their jobs suddenly and unexpectedly, I don't really believe in "job security."
I believe in protecting your future by keeping yourself valuable.
Work to keep yourself marketable. Continue to update your skills. Keep your resume current.
Network (make friends) when you don't really need to. Make sure you're giving 110%
to your present job.
Ask yourself these simple questions:
Think about your career as your biggest financial asset, because it really is.
You'd be hard-pressed to buy a stock or mutual fund that would give you a greater
return than a strong investment in your own career.
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- Am I contributing everything I possibly can at work? How can I be more productive?
- What am I earning, and what am I costing the company?
- Could the company replace me with someone cheaper or less experienced?
- Could they hire a part time consultant to replace me? (Often, though it's hard to admit, the answer to 3 and 4 is yes.)
- Is the company struggling financially, and if so, what can I do to help?
- Am I getting along well with my boss, my peers, and subordinates? If not, can I take corrective action?
- Am I communicating my accomplishments upward so others know what I'm contributing?