Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Make Yourself a Layoff Survivor

Chad Broadus, an IT manager we know, recently sent us this item about surviving layoffs. While we're not hearing huge fears about downsizing in the accounting world, I think Chad's points apply to anyone who's got their eye on business conditions, whatever their industry. So here it is.

Okay, the economy’s tanking. While a healthy dose of concern is warranted, don’t get caught up in all of the negative hyperbole. Instead, take some concrete steps to become an even more valuable employee who is less of a layoff target. Remember, those “lucky ones” who survive belt tightening are often less “lucky” than you might think. Like anything else, value in a company is relative - in this case relative to your fellow employees.

So to survive a layoff, you need to create enough value that you stand out. You need to be more productive than your colleagues. Think about it: If you had to choose between cutting Employee A, who merely gets the job done, and Employee B, who seems to achieve a great deal more in a week, you’ll probably come down on the side of the overachiever.

Of course, you don’t want to kill yourself working 60-hour weeks, so you’ll need a way to do more in the same 40 hours. That’s where time management comes in. Find and master a time management system. Franklin Covey works well for a lot of people, but there are other systems out there, too. Choose a program that’s right for you and stick to it with religious zeal.

Once you’re able to squeeze more out of your time, make those extra hours to work for you. Look for problems that can be solved within your area of expertise. Once you find a problem, solve it. If you can’t directly implement the change yourself, bring the problem - and your proposed solution - to your boss. If there’s a potential return on investment, chances are your boss will go for it - and you’ve associated “problem solver” with your name.

This is just one of many strategies to keep you working in lean times. Even if layoffs never come to your company - and, remember, they may not - getting more done has benefits when your annual review and raise come around.

1 comment:

Ben Wright said...

Mark: As employees are shown the door, an employer may be wise to hang onto their e-mail records. --Ben http://legal-beagle.typepad.com/wrights_legal_beagle/2008/10/retain-e-mail-of-former-employees.html