The economy is tough for everyone right now and the forecast is not positive. Businesses are buckling down and making serious cuts to the bottom line to stay afloat. In light of these major changes in operation, businesses are cutting budgets and letting go of their staff in hopes of lightening their financial burden. It is not a pretty sight but you can be two steps ahead of the pink slip if you are proactive.
In an effort to avoid the pink slip, it is important to recognize changes that could jeopardize your employment. Once you understand the signs, you can take steps to overcome the challenges and find ways to maintain your employment.
Warning Sign: Your job is dependent on travel.
Solution: The easiest line item to decrease without effecting the overall operation of a business is to cut travel. Propose ways to decrease your travel before you are eliminated. Consider other forms of face-to-face communication such as web conferencing.
Warning Sign: Your job is focused on one skill or function.
Solution: Those who are not versatile are not valuable employees. Identify all of your skills and abilities then find ways to utilize them within various other projects, departments, and needs of the company. Let everyone know that you are willing to expand your current job description by sharing your plethora of abilities. Also consider investigating low-cost training opportunities to expand your talents.
Warning Sign: Your boss has been laid off.
Solution: More then likely the department that you currently work within is viewed as expendable if its leader has been kicked to the curb. One of two things will occur next a) the staff will be absorbed under other departments or b) everyone will be laid off. As with the previous scenario, make it known that you are able to function above and beyond the assigned job description. Identify ways to not only accomplish your job duties but to be useful to other departments.
Despite your proactive approach to handling major changes within a company, being let go due to financial constraints cannot always be avoided. Here are a few signs that your time is limited and steps are being put in place to let you go.
- You are asked to cc your boss on everything that you do.
- You were not given an incentive bonus or pay raise.
- You are not assigned new projects or given new opportunities.
- You are not kept in-the-loop about the activities of the department.
In the unfortunate event that a pink slip is imminent, recognize these signs quickly and take steps to secure your future. Update your resume and begin a job search. Make copies of your work that highlight your skills and talents. And most importantly, hang in there. There are bigger and better opportunities for you on the horizon.