How to Fireproof Your Career in Tough Economic Times

How to Fireproof Your Career in Tough Economic Times

Become your company’s MVE – most valuable employee

With the grim unemployment news splashed across the headlines, it is understandable that you may be concerned about losing your job.
According to Traci Bell-Thomas of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, “The unemployment claim systems in Ohio and other states buckled this week under an onslaught of telephone calls and website hits. With the number of people being laid off at the end of the year, the systems are just being overwhelmed.  The telephone hotline generally receives about 7,500 calls a day, but has been getting around 80,000 calls each the past two days (January 6, 2009).” Business as usual isn’t. So, what can you do, as an employee, to ease your anxiety and protect your position with your employer?  Here are some tips to fireproof your current employment by working toward becoming your boss’s Most Valuable Employee:

Make an honest appraisal of your job situation

Do you get along well with your boss?  What are you doing to make your workplace run better, faster and cheaper?  Do you bring solutions or complaints to your boss and co-workers? Make sure you are doing the best job you can be – and that you are the best employee you can be.  Identify three improvements you can make at work and DO them. You need to take action to make things better.  Don’t wait.  Waiters are for restaurants.

Put yourself in your employer’s shoes – and walk around

What is keeping your boss up at night?  Find out.  Have a discussion with your boss and find out what you can do to help in these tough times.  Simply ask, “what’s the most important thing I can do to help our business in these tough times?  What can I do to make things better for you?” Ask, “What do you see that’s working – that I should CONTINUE to do?  What’s not happening that I should START DOING and what’s really bugging you that I should STOP doing? Take immediate action on your employer’s recommendations.

Let your yes be yes

Deliver what you promise.  Don’t wait to be reminded – you need to bring solutions, not problems and complaints. If you make a promise, you need to follow through on that promise.  Is your plate already full?  Clarify your priorities and determine what is most important to you. What should you purposefully neglect to get this done?  We all need to make sacrifices right now – and you might have to say “yes” more often. You now have several tools in your tool belt to help you keep your job.  Act on your fear about losing your job and use that energy to fireproof your job. Go into work each day and focus on how you can be the best employee you can be.