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How to keep your job

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When the HR department is putting heads on the chopping block, how do you make sure yours isn't the one that rolls?
How to keep your job
Flick on the news each night and there are dire economic warnings. Turn a page in the paper and there’s a story about job cuts. Unemployment is set to go up. The banks won’t pass on interest rates. The Euro Zone is quietly collapsing and the beacon of financial might, America, is groaning beneath the weight of debt. It’s enough to make any worker anxious. With companies looking to guard profitability and increase revenue, the sad reality is that the most savings are made on slashing wages. So how do you make sure that when the HR department is putting heads on the chopping block, you’re spared the axe? By being indispensable. If your workplace were Star Wars you’d want to be R2D2 – not C-3PO. So how do you become indispensable? The best way to be indispensable is to be always useful. This means having the flexibility to work outside your main role and take on other aspects of the work load. Instead of saying ‘no’ to requests for additional help, say ‘yes’ – even if you’re not sure you can do it. If something seems daunting then see it as a challenge. And challenges can easily be overcome and turned routine. Once you gain greater skills, you’ll be greater skilled and employers will notice that. When you’re asked to do something outside your job description, employers realise you’re extending yourself. And if you’re the one who says yes, you’re going to look better compared to a co-worker who said no and was unsure they’d be able to complete the task. By saying yes you’re presenting yourself as confident and capable, which is something every employers wants of their employees. Another way to demonstrate your indispensability is by not being a pest. If you’re constantly looking to a manager to guide you, you’re showing that you can’t be autonomous. If you’re not able to direct yourself in the work place, then you’re costing money by costing them time. The flip side of not being a pest is by showing initiative. If you know that there’s something that needs to be done that other have overlooked, go out and do it. While this may cut into your personal time, a little effort can go a long way in these financial times. A way to develop initiative is to be constantly aware of what’s going on in your chosen industry. By keeping ahead of the greater business/artistic community, you can predict what challenges you might face in the future based on what others are currently dealing with. By predicting what could happen in your industry you’ll be able to warn your bosses. This is a form of initiative in itself, and if a problem arises and you’re the one to solve it then you’ll be held in high regard. This will elevate you above the mere level of problem finder, to problem solver. When new opportunities arise in the workplace volunteer for them. If you show that you’re not afraid to move into new areas, you’ll be seen as someone that’s willing to go where the business needs. As with the prospect of losing your job, it’s all about the bottom line. If you show that you can be flexible and work across a number of roles you’ll be seen as valuable. And employers are looking for value for dollars these days.

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