Another tactic: “Ask for a performance review. You don’t want to get let go because of something that can be fixed. Worst thing to be doing is operating by your gut and not getting direct feedback,” insists Rosner. Also, he says, “have a clear understanding of what your job is, how to do it, and what the expectations are. The more concrete and specific you can make it, the better.”
John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas told Black Enterprise that workers can protect their jobs best by “becoming an expert at certain tasks that are crucial to the company.” Beyond that, he cautioned executives and staffers of all stripes to “work at your relationship with your boss,” he says. “When it comes time for layoffs, you want your boss to think: Who can’t I do this to?” While you’re at it, get to know boss’s boss–and cultivate as many advocates around the company who know you and your work.”
Bob Rosner added to Challenger’s rather Machiavellian advice with these words of caution: “Don’t treat people at direct competitors as the enemy. They could potentially be a future employer.” Is that sneaky, underhanded behavior, or sound survival advice? One thing’s for sure, Tony Soprano would approve.
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John Simons is the senior personal finance editor at Black Enterprise magazine