that point, they are not letting all the people of color go because that is automatically a class action suit waiting to happen. So the question becomes, ‘Why was I one of those people selected?’ ”
Performance is a major part of that score. Of course, the degree to which your job is relevant within a department or company is more difficult to personally impact. But there are strategies you can implement to keep your professional stock high within your firm. The more valuable you are perceived by a company, the less likely you will end up on the list for layoffs.
Add value to your position. Companies today are focusing on results. It’s important for employees to take the lead on company projects and initiatives. Join task forces that cross several departments to broaden your exposure among other department heads and volunteer for the some of the less glamorous and popular assignments. “The person who is giving out the assignment recognizes that they are going to have [to] pull teeth to get people to volunteer,” says Mason. “What [a manager will] remember most is that you were willing to take the risk.”
Blow your own horn. Don’t be modest about your accomplishments, says Sharon Hall, managing director of Spencer Stuart’s Atlanta office. “Make sure that a lot of different people know what you’ve done and what your bottom line contributions to the company have been.”
Stay progressive. Education does not end with a degree. It is important to continually upgrade your knowledge and skills. Take advantage of company offerings of tuition reimbursement and special training seminars. Says Watson, “It’s amazing how when folks finish their schooling, all of a sudden they stop learning. That’s a dangerous thing.”