Fireproof Yourself: How to be a survivor and not a layoff statistic

by Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

In April 2016 job cuts in the United States rose to 65,414, a 7-year high. Are you safe? Or do you worry whether you are next? You need to Fireproof yourself! No level of job is sacred anymore.

Which of the 10 tips do you need to work on to Fireproof yourself?

  1. Never Gossip. Ever. You never know who’s listening and how they will change your message to make them look good. If you think the grapevine is your main source of information and gossiping keeps you in the know, learn to ask questions and be a better communicator.
  1. firedDon’t waste the company’s money by taking personal calls, surfing the Internet, playing games or anything else. Keep doing this and you will have plenty of time because you will not be employed. It is stealing and the people making decisions will notice.
  1. Not a good idea to date at work. Sometimes companies overlook this behavior but in bad times, it can be looked at as a liability. You don’t need a demerit when top brass is reviewing who stays and who goes.
  1. Build good relationships with everyone, even people you don’t particularly like. They don’t have to be your ‘friend’ but should always be considered as part of your support team. Never burn your bridges.
  1. Take ownership of your job and never point the finger at others. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Don’t try to sweep your mistakes under the carpet because the truth will usually come back to bite you on the bottom line. Build trust when you can. This is an ‘attaboy’ or ‘attagirl’ on your side.
  1. Create the best work product you can without losing sight of other projects. Be a results oriented, deadline oriented machine. Constantly ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time right now?” to keep focused on the important.
  1. Don’t complain and be careful with the problems and issues you uncover. Are they really critical to the growth of the business?  Yes they do want solutions for problems, but even bringing up too many issues can make you look like the problem.
  1. Just be happy to have a job. If you ever say to yourself, “I hate my job,” learn how to position yourself to find another one.  Don’t even tell your best friend you hate your job because this language will change your day-to-day performance and habits.
  1. Take a pay cut or freeze gracefully. Even better, offer to take a salary cut, if you know that the company is in trouble. Remember the leaders are trying to keep the company afloat so just smile and say “I know that it’s all for the good of the company. Let me know how I can help.”
  1. Stay positive and forward thinking. You don’t have to become a Paul or Pollyanna, but you do have to stay away from the mental terrorism that can result from tough times.  Stay pleasant, gracious and optimistic.

WARNING: Don’t be fooled by anyone asking you “How are things?” or “What’s wrong?” Always respond with “Fantastic” and never let your guard down. Learn that you must take personal responsibility and Fireproof yourself against the burning problems faced in today’s economy.

What are you doing to stabilize your position?

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Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA
PO Box 15218, Scottsdale AZ 85267
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One Comment

  1. Colleen Brown says:

    Great information and article. Thank you Marcia!

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