Tips for keeping your job

Is there, or was there, ever such a thing as job security? I used to think that some jobs, such as being a civil servant (government worker, police officer, fireman, et al) were pretty secure. And then the current recession kicked in.

In New Jersey, state workers are being asked to forego contracted raises and accept a number of unpaid furlough days as a way to help balance the state budget. Firehouses are being closed, and police officers are getting layoff notices.

I suppose wage freezes and furloughs are better than the alternative, which is losing your job entirely and getting unemployment.

So how should you go about ensuring that you’re a valuable employee who shouldn’t be laid off? There are a few things you can do to improve your work presence and make the bosses see that you’re a worthy employee.

* Come in early, and stay late. Sure, you’ve been putting in your usual hours, but now is the time to make an extra effort to be visible. If you’re at work extra hours, surely it means you’re taking on additional work, right?

* Work hard. Another no-brainer. Don’t be a slacker — make yourself known as a workhorse, even if it means taking on additional responsibilities. You’ll appear to be irreplaceable.

* Stand out from the crowd. If you have a great idea that would improve workflow or the company’s budget, pitch it. Especially now, any money-saving idea will get your superiors’ full attention.

* Build relationships with higher-ups. If you have a mentor at work, it will help you survive a potential layoff situation because they’ll really know you. You won’t just be another employee to them.

It’s all about being known for getting your job done and being visible. Stay relevant and hopefully you’ll still be an employee after the next round of layoffs.

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