Eight Tips to Survive and Thrive in Companies Large and Small

By Denny Strigl

As I mentioned in last week’s post on creating jobs, with the unemployment rate here in the U.S. at 9.1% and real unemployment closer to 20% we hear news about jobs almost everyday.  This morning I picked up the Wall Street Journal and read about 3500 jobs cuts at Nokia.  Nokia joins a long list of major companies downsizing payrolls including HSBC, Bank of America, Merck, Cisco, RIM, Lockheed Martin, Borders and many more.

Following last week’s post several readers asked if I have any tips on how to keep your job when your employer announces plans to cut jobs.  The answer, unfortunately, is that by the time a layoff actually becomes public knowledge there are very few things individuals who may be impacted can do to  save their jobs at that point.  Generally speaking, however, there is usually a little time left between the time an announcement was made and the time people are actually let go. Although they may have very little impact on the outcome, there are a couple of “last ditch”  things employees can do.

  1. Express a desire to stay.  Here, I mean if you really want to stay, tell everyone you can that you want to remain with the company.  Tell them why you want to stay, and let them know why they should choose to keep you.  This is not a time to be shy!
  2. Continue to do your job in the very best way you know how right up until the end.  Frankly, I have often seen managers change their minds about who stays and who goes in a layoff situation.

The best advice I have to give on how to keep your job when your company lays off employees are the things you should do long before a layoff is announced.  What are these things?

Here are eight tips to survive and thrive in companies big and small:

  1. Work very hard, be accountable, do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it.
  2. Never lie about anything.
  3. Seek more responsibility and  do more than what your manager asks you to do.
  4. Learn everything you possibly can.
  5. Try to make your boss even better than he or she wants to be.
  6. If you have nothing nice to say about another person, say nothing.
  7. Avoid “corporate politics”, backstabbing and placing blame on anyone or anything.
  8. Be loyal.

Employees who consistently do these eight things significantly enhance their chances of surviving a corporate “downsizing.”  In fact, I would suggest that employees who do these things make themselves indispensable.

Leave a Reply