You Can Laugh at Layoff Worries …

… if you make yourself indispensable to your boss.
No, this isn’t an infomercial! You *can* create real job security and make yourself immune to layoffs and downsizing. Just make yourself too valuable to do without.
Why not start today? Here are three ways.

  1. Become a problem solver, not a problem “bringer.”

The most valued employees in any company are the ones who solve problems. So, instead of whining about problems, pick one and solve it!
If you’re a computer guru, could you improve the office network, even if it’s not in your job description? If you’re good with words, could you come up with 2-3 new ideas for your company brochure?
Whatever problems you tackle, your employer will be pleasantly shocked by your initiative. Solve enough problems and you’ll improve your chances of weathering any looming layoffs.

  1. Become an in-house expert.

A sure-fire way to increase your value on the job is to keep learning. This can be as complex as getting your MBA or as simple as reading a book every week.
Whatever you do to increase your expertise, make sure your boss knows about it! Completing training, such as Microsoft’s MCSE certification, can make it less likely that your neck will be on the line for the next downsizing.
Here’s an example from the field of medicine. I’m told the average doctor makes $160,000 per year. Not bad. But my cousin, the liver specialist, makes twice that amount and lives in a house the size of Rhode Island. He’s an expert. And he’s rewarded for it by his employer, a hospital. They can’t do without him.
What subject can you become an expert in for your employer?

  1. Work smarter, not harder.

You can do more in less time and take on additional assignments if you just work more efficiently. Three ways to quickly become more productive are:

  • Don’t answer your phone. Try returning messages every 60-90 minutes. This is an incredible time saver!
  • Batch work like cookies. Do similar tasks, such as answering email or typing memos, all at once. When your brain works on similar things repeatedly, it does so with increasing efficiency. Try it!
  • Account for your time. You’ll be amazed at how many hours you waste each week in front of the coffee machine or in pursuit of bagels. Measure your work day and you’ll quickly find unproductive activities to eliminate.

It’s a hard truth: during rough seas, it’s the non-essential items that are cast off first. You can make yourself essential to your employer — starting today — by solving problems, becoming a valued expert and by working more efficiently.
Best of luck to you!

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