7 Tips For Staying Off the Chopping Block

Investopedia

In today's uncertain economy, the unemployed aren't the only people stressed out about work. Even those with jobs are worried, as businesses make drastic staff reductions to stay afloat. To have the best chance of avoiding the dreaded layoff, it is critical to know how to save yourself from your boss' scorn.

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1. Be a Team Player
The ability to cooperate with a team of people is integral in most workplaces. It is important to have excellent skills in communication and problem solving. Learn how to listen and provide constructive criticism to coworkers. Be willing to step outside your role and help other employees when necessary and appropriate. If you are viewed as a person who plays well with others, you will be favored by your organization.

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2. Stay Positive
A positive attitude goes far in every aspect of life and that includes the office. Nobody likes a negative person that spreads gossip or is always complaining about the company. Even in a negative workplace, focus on the things that you like about your job, and be happy that you are employed in a difficult economy. Don't associate yourself with coworkers who are negative because it could reflect poorly on you. Maintain a positive attitude outside of the office as well. Any bad-mouthing of the company could get back to your boss -- especially if you take your griping to social media, such as Facebook or Twitter.

3. Get Evaluated
At all times, you should be aware of where you stand with your boss. Ask for feedback on a regular basis and use it to make positive changes in your work. Be able to show your boss that you add value to the company. If you can present a stellar portfolio of your work from the past year, you're less likely to have a pink slip in your future.

4. Work Hard
Show your boss that you are dedicated to the company by going above and beyond the minimum requirements of your position. Employers notice those who come to work early and stay late or offer to take on extra projects. Keep track of the work that you do and the positive contributions you have made to the company so that you can promote yourself during evaluations.

5. Stay Up-to-Date
A shaky economy is no time to rest on your laurels. Attend conferences, workshops and classes to keep your skills current and to network. Not only will it make you more of an asset to your employer, but it will also make you more marketable the next time you're job searching.

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6. Be Professional
The way that you behave at work represents both you and your employer. Acting within the standards of your organization can be the difference between getting promoted and getting the axe. Things like coming to work late, missing deadlines, dressing too casually and wasting time on the internet are invites for negative attention. It is also a good rule of thumb to keep your personal life out of the office. Take your job seriously, carry yourself with pride and respect those around you.

7. Be Secretive
The best time to look for a job is when you already have one. However, most employers don't take kindly to the news that their employees are looking for other work. Keep your job hunt undercover to ensure that your boss doesn't fire you before you get hired elsewhere. Don't look for jobs while you are at work, and don't tell your coworkers about your plans to move on until you have secured a job offer and have given notice to your manager. Also, make sure that your resume isn't posted on a job search website that your employer might see.

The Bottom Line
When the economy is shaky, no one's job is guaranteed. To stay employed, you must show your employer that you add value to the company and that you are a person they can't operate without.

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