In one of my earlier post, I mentioned a few tricks to get a raise at current job. Here I will explain you some tried and tested methods that people in my circle of friends adopted, to become invaluable employee to the boss and the team. But, do remember that there is no magic strategy to bring you success.
Not every one is equal, when the direction to cut team size comes to your boss, no matter how he likes his team, he has to cut a few head to save his/her own. Even if you are one of the most hard-working employee who produce good results, do not be over-confident and get surprised when you are called out for that discussion.
As with all my other posts, this post will also give a bright picture of the things, not a gloomy one. There are many ways you make yourself invaluable, the tricks are simple but consistency is the key, once you start following these advises, there is no turning back, you can save your job because, however bad shape your employer is in, they are not going to lay off the entire work force.
I always believe in the phrase “Be the best in whatever you do”. If you follow the pro verb too, be the best in your domain, or your department, or your team, no one is going to touch your collar come the lay off if you do. I faced many looming layoffs and came out untouched, first during dot com bubble burst in 2001 and then again in 2008 recession, when my employers shed loads of employees. I saw people from my left and right leaving the company, the mates I used to hang out with..
How can you avoid lay off?
Start trying for better appraisal
Believe me, companies do not just randomly lay off, decision comes only after reviewing several of the prior years’ appraisals and ratings. So, even if your employer is doing very good, start trying for higher rating from now, you do not know your company’s performance 5 years from now. Your team might have many roles but the colleagues who are playing same role as you, are your competitors when it comes to layoff, be at least better than them.
Show-off positive attitude
Never say ‘No’ to your boss, if you have to, say ‘yes’ first then try to explain the difficulties. If you have bandwidth, take up more responsibilities, play meta role in the team, example, a role to orient new joiners, or a role to organize birthdays at work.
Don’t crack joke on boss
It’s reality that passing jokes on the boss, and sharing boss’s weaknesses are our best office pass time. Stay away from them, almost every team has at least one boss informer. You will be back stabbed and worst part is that, you will come to know only when you are about to be fired. Carefully excuse yourself and withdraw your opinion on each such discussions.
Always show up for work earlier than your boss, unless you have a workaholic crazy boss. If boss comes at 8AM, be there at 7.55AM and don’t lose any opportunity to show off you arrived early, but, be careful not to annoy your colleagues. Never ever have your boss waiting for you n a meeting, always show up on time.
Praise your boss
You might have meetings and discussion with your boss’s boss or boss’s colleagues, always praise the efforts of your boss in these conversation. Emphasize on the positive changes he/she brought in to the team.
Communicate Communicate and Communicate
Always communicate with people you work with. Don’t be a brilliant technician who doesn’t get up from cubicle. A team becomes vibrant when the members are vibrant and dynamic. Brilliant individual performance alone is not enough for your boss’s own rating, he has to have a dynamic and vibrant team to show off his leadership qualities, help him achieve his goals by becoming dynamic employee.
Communication is talking and listening, not only you talk, but you listen too, communication alone can make you everyone’s favorite.
Get team’s love, respect your team
Do not hate your team simply because they are your competitors, probably you spend more time with your co workers than your family. a positive atmosphere is required for your own peace of mind. Offer help to colleagues when they are stuck, get some of their loads, people might return the favor when you are in need.
Don’t criticize your co workers or hide information deliberately. It is often required to highlight your achievement over others, simply put the facts about your achievements, don’t state what others couldn’t do.
Improve your skills, become versatile
This is probably the most important factor towards you retaining your job. Always learn new skills, subjects methods and be the pioneer in your team. Be boss’s go to man when it comes to explore new ways of doing things. Never let a learning opportunity go waste because you are too busy on project work.
When layoff seems imminent, negotiate salary and role
Sometime you can not help and situation demands your head and you have nowhere to go for a new job, try your last-ditch effort by offering a salary reduction or taking up more work at no overtime. Your boss might get intrigued and decide to cut someone else’s head.
Maintain relationship with ex bosses and colleagues
Most importantly, be smart and prepared for the layoff. Your priority should be to update resume, to focus on your marketable skills. You don’t want to have to rush to get these done when a layoff strikes and you are not fully fit mentally. Idea is to prepare for the layoff while trying to be unavoidable.
Is there any other strategy you tried to avoid a layoff? Or do you have a personal experience of a layoff, do share with other readers. Let us know other valuable tips also do share your opinion about this article by commenting it.
101 Centavos says
All good tips, SB. Especially the one about showing up earlier than your boss (managing perceptions) and improving your skills.
thanks for your comment. Do you follow all of these?