Fire Proof Yourself: How to be a survivor and avoid being unemployed

By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

fired380x260_crop380wThere are 11.3 million people in the U.S. today that want your job. Well, maybe not your job exactly, but A job or ANY job. The skilled unemployed worker numbers continue to grow which poses a threat to your livelihood. Conclusion? You need to  Fire Proof yourself! And no level of job is sacred anymore! Don’t become a Toxic Person or use difficult behavior in the workplace. Just look at the facts. You are probably asking yourself, “Am I next?” Here are the ten ways on how to “Fire Proof” yourself.

  1. Never Gossip. Ever. You never know who’s listening and how they will change your message to make themselves 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. Don’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 they will notice.
  1. Don’t even think of dating at work. In good times, 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.
  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 loosing sight of other projects.  Be a results oriented, deadline focused machine. Constantly ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time right now” to keep your self-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 be a 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 they are trying to keep the company afloat through all the rising business costs — 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.  Smile more. 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 Fire Proof yourself against the burning problems faced in today’s economy.

Email Marsha at Marsha@MarshaPetrieSue.com for your copy of the Communication Cheat Sheet

Visit www.MarshaPetriesSue.com or chime in on the blog at http://www.decontaminatetoxicpeople.com

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