Keep Your Job

11 Jul

With the current condition of the job market, it is no wonder that people are under an unusual amount of stress. Many are feeling the weight of uncertainty that results from matters such as their job security, the economy, and their future – and from the looks of it, that weight may only increase in the coming months.

Thought we are in dismal times, it is important to realize that there are some things that you can control in order to better your circumstances. I am offering 10 tips which, if used effectively, can help you keep your job, promote health and happiness, and alleviate some of the stressors that the day may bring.

Keep your job: A 10-point survival guide

By: Dr. Deb Bright and Anne Fisher, contributor

By permission of the publisher Bright Enterprises, ©2009. Appeared, 2009. All rights Reserved.

1. Create successes for yourself. They needn’t be earthshaking. Just getting to the gym and working out when you didn’t feel like it will do, even if you have to squeeze it in at 5 a.m. When there’s a lot of negativity around, you need to find ways to feel successful.

2. Set 30-day and 60-day goals. Share them with your boss and then, as you get closer to your targets, update him or her on that, too. Not only will measurable progress keep you upbeat and creative, but in practical terms, your boss needs to know what his department is accomplishing, so he has ammunition if someone wants to chop it in half.

3. Watch your attitude. A pessimistic, bleak attitude makes it hard for people to work with you. And why be miserable eight hours a day, anyway?

4. Keep your network active. People always talk about networking, but they don’t do it. I ask my clients to give me the names of five people they want to stay in touch with, and then make a plan for how they’re going to do that, whether it’s lunch or just a phone call. Always bring something of value to the conversation, even if it’s just a tidbit of information or the name of a useful contact.

5. Update your skills. Take a class, read a book, keep up with trade publications. You always want to be up-to-the-minute informed about what’s going on in your industry that could affect you.

6. Make sure your work serves the larger goals of the organization. Take on as many responsibilities as you can, especially the tasks no one else wants, like reporting to regulators. I had a client who did this and dodged a layoff. A word of caution, however: At some point, do teach someone else how to do the extra tasks you’ve taken on, or you’ll never, ever get to take a vacation.

7. For now, forget about work-life balance. A major preoccupation when the economy was humming along nicely, having time for outside interests has to go right out the window now. You need to concentrate on doing whatever it takes to make yourself indispensable.

8. Take a hard look at your finances. Do you have the resources to coast through a seven- or eight-month (or longer) job hunt? If not, it’s time to put yourself on a budget and stick to it. And talk to your mate about finances. Many high-ranking executives don’t – and then face shock and resentment at home when money gets tight.

9. Never badmouth anyone. If you can’t be positive toward someone at work, be neutral. In the next reorganization, the person you were trash-talking could be your new boss, and then you’re gone.

10. Remember, in the knowledge economy, you are the product. So take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat right, and take time to work out a few times a week. I had one client who was so nervous about everything that was happening around him, he gained 20 pounds. That’s not good for your health – and if you do have to get out there and market yourself, being overweight won’t do wonders for your confidence, either. In this job market, if heaven forbid you’re plunged into it, you’ll need all the confidence you can muster.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Even if you start out by trying only a few of them, there are only benefits to be reaped.


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