Step It Up At Work And Save Your Job!

From Step It Up At Work And Save Your Job!

With the economy in the tank, companies are still laying off employees left and right and every time you turn around, businesses that were once thriving have closed their doors for good. It’s no wonder you tread lightly at work these days; you have every right to be concerned your head may be the next on the chopping block. And unless you’ve got a trust fund the size of Texas, that is a very real possibility for millions of professional women across the country.

Granted, if a company truly can’t afford to keep you on payroll, there is nothing you can do to change that. The best thing you can do in that case is to review your severance agreement (if you are offered one), apply for unemployment and begin your quest for another job.

However, there is nothing wrong with making it extremely difficult for your boss to let you go, should a layoff become a possibility. The trick is to be suave about it. Here’s how:

Always be one step ahead of your boss. Do you get your work done without being asked? Do you get a head start on projects that aren’t due for a few weeks? Do you make sure your boss has everything she needs for a meeting and are you proactive about finding solutions to problems she may be having? How about helping with responsibilities that aren’t necessarily yours, but you offer to do them anyway?

It may sound like overkill, but it could really mean the difference between a paycheck or none at all. Your boss is stressed beyond belief right now, trying to meet goals in a down economy, so she may be less apt to shower you with praise for a job well done. However, if your boss asks you for something and you say you’ve already done it, you send the message that she can count on you when they need it most.

Focus on the job-not the clock. Sure, we’ve all got husbands, children, pets and social lives outside of the office, but one of the quickest-and easiest-ways to lose your position in the possibility of a layoff is to be out the door every day at five on the dot. Your boss can and, quite surely, will take that as a sign that you don’t like your work, that you have enough on your plate, or both.

I’m not saying to kill yourself taking on more work than you can or want to handle, but if you get to work after your boss in the morning and then leave before her at night, maybe you should rearrange your schedule, give or take ten minutes. It can’t hurt to ask her if she needs anything before you head out for the evening, either. Your effort will pay off in spades when she remembers all the times you helped her with something at the last minute, trust me.

Turn on the charm. When you’re overloaded with work and stressed out, it’s easy to forget your manners. Always say “please” and “thank you” and try to bring positive energy and good humor to the office. Even if you’re having the worst day of your life, it could be the day when your boss decides she has to let someone go and your bad mood could earn you a pink slip. The more difficult the times, the more reason you have to smile-because you still have a job. Let’s try and keep it that way-you really can’t afford your bad mood.

Show your range. It never hurts to ask to help with projects you weren’t assigned to. Not only will it earn you recognition as a team player, but your boss will see you as the valuable, well-rounded employee you truly are. After all, the employees companies are not willing to part with are those who can pick up the pieces where the others left off.