8 Ways to Pink-Slip Proof Your Job

Whether the unemployment rate is through the roof or not, it pays to pink-slip proof your job. Here are eight sure-fire ways to help ensure longevity in your current paycheck zone.

  1. Think green and we're not talking recycling here. You bring added financial value to your employer when you introduce new business to your company. By bringing in those bucks, you are showing the powers to be that you have the organization's greater interest at heart. For some strange reason, they like that. A lot.

    If business development isn't your favorite pastime, try to get past the pain of sales just long enough to make a positive impression and ensure your place a while longer.

  2. Think green and we are talking recycling here. You've seen the apocalyptic movies where the Statue of Liberty crumbles into the sea or is stumbled upon under layers of sand. Global warming is sure to blame somehow and many companies today are feeling the international pressure to play nicer environmentally.

    Find a cost-effective way to do that, even on a seemingly small scale, and you will be credited positively for it on a corporate level.

  3. Make a good thing better. The wheel has already been developed so don't waste your time. You don't need to re-invent it, but you can add your own spin on it making it unique in our vastly competitive marketplace.

    Replace the wheel with any product, idea, or service and you're well on your way to becoming a creative asset to your company. Somebody has to be the idea guy, Einstein. It might as well be you.

  4. Expand your network. Having flashbacks to your previous job search? Good. Unless you keep your network well nourished that's exactly where you will find yourself once again...unemployed and looking for a job in a very tight job market. To effectively grow your network, think internally as well as externally.

    Internally, be nice to your co-workers and your immediate supervisors. Develop or continue to foster decent working relationships with your boss's boss and his associates. This is high-octane critical if you want to grow with your current employer.

    Externally, take an active volunteer role in professional or civic organizations near and dear to you. You'd be amazed at the cross-section of contacts you can meet on the local PTA board or through Scouting.

  5. Ditch the invisibility cloak. It may have worked for Harry Potter, but hiding your charming self and your amazing accomplishments puts you on the fast track to having a "Fire Me First" target on your back. Now is not the time to be silent about the value you bring to your employer.

    On the flip side, don't strive to be an annoying know-it-all, either. Find a comfortable, socially, and corporately acceptable balance between the two and you'll help stay employed through the rough times ahead.

  6. Don't ask for a raise right now. If you already make an impressive salary, leave it alone. Be grateful. Be quiet.

    When the axe hovers above an organization, it often falls where it can make the most impact with the least damage to the masses (i.e., on selected individuals who cost the company a lot of money). Focus instead on strengthening your position in the company.

  7. Enhance your credentials. You can never be too smart. Start game-planning your future marketability now by enhancing your current skills base.

    Learn a new program, language or other skill that you can add to your resume to help you land on your feet should the rug be pulled out from under you unexpectedly. If you have educational benefits that you haven't tapped into yet, now may be the time.

  8. Keep a positive attitude and drive on. No matter who you are, tough job times are ahead. No doubt about it. Keep a good head on your shoulders and thinks things through logically (thanks Dad!) and you'll be just fine.

    You can't personally and/or immediately change the dire situation our economy finds itself. You will just have to suffer through it with the rest of us. That doesn't mean, however, that you should allow it to immobilize your career goals or dreams. You may have to find an alternate path to reaching them or you may have to revise your personal timeline for success. No biggie. It's all in a day's work anyhow.


SOURCE: Adapted from a May 2008 JobTalk column published in the Stars and Stripes Newspaper and written by Janet Farley. All rights reserved.