Avoiding downsizing

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Dream job sign

Dream job.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Ways to make you the last to go when the company downsizes.

Downsizing and layoffs happen. Sometimes these are temporary slowdowns. Other times being downsized can mean a period of long-term unemployment.

Companies cut back in times of business slowdowns, recessions, and depressions. They also downsize to try to temporarily boost profits or because the company is becoming less competitive.

If you are a young worker in a non-competitive company or a dying industry, potential downsizing may be the thing you need to push you to learn new skills and move on to a job with better prospects.

If you have a lot of training and education invested, student loans to pay, or if you are close to retirement age,  you may want to hold onto that job as long as possible and try to weather the downsizing storm.

One way to stay on board when the others are being tossed overboard is to make yourself irreplaceable at work. Here are some suggestions on ways to make yourself the one the company chooses to keep to the very end.

1. Be the only one who knows how to do things – learn all you can.

If you are the only one who can perform a certain operation or the only one that knows the computer system you will be far less likely to be let go.

Take trainings when offered. Do not avoid things because “that’s not part of my job.” Learn new and extra skills. Become the go-to person at your work site. As long as they keep the doors open they will need you.

2. Be the best at what you do.

The slower, less productive people are at the top of the list to go. Sure seniority and being the bosses cousin can count for something’s but when they have to make the who to let go decisions the unproductive or slow worker is the one they try to ease out first. Do not be that low skilled, low productivity person.

3. Get along with everyone – make small talk.

Hard to get along with people disappear in downsizing even when they are productive. Do not think that work skills alone will keep you on the job. Happy people who like the others they work with are more productive. If your presence is bad for morale they are looking to end that problem and you along with it.

Casual, small talk can help you to get along with others. This should not be taken as an excuse to spend vast amounts of time around the water cooler but an occasional “Hi” and “how are you” will keep others wanting you around.

4. Make your boss look good.

Make your boss or supervisor look good and you look good. Help not hinder them in meeting their productivity goals. Do not waste time trying to be right by making your boss wrong. The bosses and supervisors turn over more slowly than the line workers. If your department looks good they cut fewer positions.

5. Act like you want to be there.

If you act like you wish you were working somewhere else the people above you may help make this come true. No one wants to be around someone who hates their job. Even other employees who may wish things were better still have to work there and you adding to their misery will not make you popular.

6. Be open to new things.

Everything changes. Companies adopt new technology, enter new markets, and over time embrace new ideas. Companies that do not change lose market share and die. Every change is not successful. Know that sometimes your workplace will try new things and then revert back to the old way of doing things.

Being open to change will keep you on the team. Insisting that the new idea will not work and being unwilling to try it, will get you removed from the team even if it later turns out you were right. Being right is not much consolation for being unemployed. Be a team player and give the new plan a try.

7. Believe in what you’re doing.

If you do not think the thing you are doing or the place you work has value to society find another place to work. Why waste your life working at something that is a waste.

People who are enthusiastic about the work they do are better workers. Believing that your life work has meaning makes you happier and happy workers get more done.

If you are not sure, then try to think of all the ways that what you are doing is of value. Your work may not have cosmic spiritual meaning, but what you do or make may contribute to meeting someone’s desire or needs and you are helping them be happy while the job keeps you in income to meet your needs.

8. Follow the rules.

Unless the rules are unsafe or downright immoral, the more you follow the company’s rules the more they will want you on the team. You may not see the reason for the rule but staying in step with the company helps keep the team together.

9. Be productive.

The more you get done the more the company needs and wants you.

You may do all these things and the workplace still lets you go. They may not see the good in what you do, they may need to cut people for the company to survive economically. You can do everything right and still bad things can happen. Buy the more you do to make yourself someone the company wants and needs to keep the better the chances you will be the one kept on when that great downsizing happens.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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