It seems as if job layoffs are becoming a daily occurrence in the United States. It seems as if you can’t turn on the television without hearing a news report of a company closing their doors, putting a freeze on new hires, or laying off current workers. You may be concerned with your job and rightfully so. Layoffs are tricky. Companies use different standards to determine who stays onboard and who stands in the unemployment line. Although there are no guarantees, you can take some steps to help save your job. What are they?
Know the risk of changing jobs right now. With the poor economy and job market, you may think it is better to find a new job. Why wait until you are laid off? Why not find steady employment before there are an additional 100 people in your community looking for the same job. This is a good theory, but consider the industry first. The auto and manufacturing industries are in poor shape. These plants are the ones cutting back costs and laying off workers the most. Therefore, you leave your current job working at an air conditioning manufacturer to find a new job making auto parts. Great, but what if your new employer decides two months down the line that they too need to cut costs? As a new employee, you may be the first to go. Many companies base who get laid off on seniority. The newer employees are often the first to go.
Offer to take a pay cut. Right about now, you may be thinking “why on earth would I offer to take a pay cut?” This is a good question. Don’t walk into work one morning offering to work for less pay. You should keep this as last resort. Use it as a last ditch attempt to keep your job. Did you just receive a layoff notice? If so, consider visiting the office of your supervisor. Explain the layoff will hurt you financially, but that you also understand the company needs to cut costs. Offer to take a reasonable pay cut. Once again, there are no guarantees, but it might help to save your job. Before taking this approach, estimate your unemployment. Would you make more from unemployment or with a pay cut?
Pay attention during company reviews. Many companies review their employees once or twice a year. This review may entail a meeting with your supervisor or just getting a sheet of paper with their findings. Either way, look at your review, what you need to improve on, and take all suggestions to heart. Many companies layoff workers based on seniority, but others try to get rid of the poor quality and poor performing workers first. Show your supervisors that you are a valuable asset. This best way to do this is to take any criticism you receive, set goals, and make the change. If your bosses notice a significant improvement in your work performance, they may reconsider laying you off.
Showcase your ability to perform more than one task. Whether you work in an office, in a factory, or in the field, do more than just your job. Did you overhear your boss saying they are short staffed in the mailroom? You may be a secretary, but offer to stay late to help. Not only does this show drive and determination, but it also showcases your skills to do different tasks. In addition to laying off workers, some companies are restructuring. This means a sales representative now may work as a secretary, and so forth. In the event your company decides to layoff and restructure, make sure your supervisors know you are willing to try anything to keep your job.
Increase your worth with night classes or career training classes. One of the reasons why new employees are often the first to go is because of their lack of experience. You can compensate for this with job training. Take a college class online or at night or enroll in a career-training course at your local vocational training center. Don’t just do it, but talk about it with your supervisors. They need to know that you are taking the steps to get additional training and will be a valuable asset to the company.
In short, there are no guarantees these steps will spare you from unemployment. Luckily, they are easy to implement and it will not hurt to try them. If you suspect your job is in jeopardy or have just received a layoff notice, don’t sit back and wait. Take action today.