During any economic contraction, layoffs are in the air. If you still have a job, you've probably worried about layoffs. Fortunately, there's more you can do than worry. You can actually take steps in three areas: your own frame of mind, your relationships and your situation. Last week we dealt with frame of mind. Next week, we'll address ways to improve your situation. Today, we examine relationships.
- Make job security a family effort
- Involve the entire family in the effort to keep you employed. To enhance your sense of financial security, reduce family expenses in ways that don't materially affect happiness. Everyone can help, by reducing expenditures, downsizing wants, and disclosing needs before they become expensive emergencies.
- Bury the hatchet and look the other way
- Now is not the time for workplace feuds and duels. Do what you can to be easy to work with, to be cooperative and flexible. If you have enemies of long standing, think about ways to patch things up. Certainly do nothing to create any new problems.
- Create solutions for your boss
- The quality of your relationship with your boss can determine your longevity on the job. Go beyond avoiding creating problems for your boss — create solutions. Of course, in doing so, take care not to overstep the bounds of your job. Become known for getting things done with dispatch.
- Beware workplace romance
- Almost always a bad idea, workplace romance is an especially bad idea now. While they last, romances can create trouble with colleagues, and even more trouble when they end. If you haven't started one yet, don't. If you're in one, have a chat about the extreme importance of discretion.
- Participate in local chapters of professional societies
- Usually this is a one-evening-a-month commitment. Not much, but it can be important in keeping you attuned to conditions, and keeping you in touch with your network. You'll gain valuable information while you build a support structure you might someday need yourself if the worst happens.
- Now is not the time for
workplace feuds and duels.
Do what you can to
be easy to work with.
- Keep your internal network strong
- Now more than ever, it's important to know what's happening in your organization. Attend to your internal network. Make new contacts and refresh existing contacts. Use social networking tools like LinkedIn and Twitter as internal networking tools.
- Keep your external network strong
- Your external network is not just a source of job leads when you need them. It's also a source of information about the place where you now work, and conditions in your industry. And people in your network need your help too. No doubt you have already received, or soon will receive, requests for references. Help whenever you can. If you want your network to support you someday, keep (or start) supporting it now.
Is every other day a tense, anxious, angry misery as you watch people around you, who couldn't even think their way through a game of Jacks, win at workplace politics and steal the credit and glory for just about everyone's best work including yours? Read 303 Secrets of Workplace Politics, filled with tips and techniques for succeeding in workplace politics. More info
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About Point Lookout
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More articles on Emotions at Work:
- The Fallacy of the False Cause
- Although we sometimes make decisions with incomplete information, we do the best we can, given what
we know. Sometimes, we make wrong decisions not because we have incomplete information, but because
we make mistakes in how we reason about the information we do have.
- September Eleventh
- Because of the events of September Eleventh, and out of respect for the dead and bereaved, Point Lookout
didn't appear this week. I hope we can all find a way through our pain to a place of peace and respect
for all. Please take the time that you would have spent reading Point Lookout and use it to move us
all a little closer to that goal.
- Feedback Fumbles
- "Would you like some feedback on that?" Uh-oh, you think, absolutely not. But if you're like
many of us, your response is something like, "Sure, I'd be very interested in your thoughts."
Why is giving and receiving feedback so difficult?
- What We Don't Know About Each Other
- We know a lot about our co-workers, but we don't know everything. And since we don't know what we don't
know, we sometimes forget that we don't know it. And then the trouble begins.
- Coping and Hard Lessons
- Ever have the feeling of "Uh-oh, I've made this mistake before"? Some of these oft-repeated
mistakes happen not because of obstinacy, or stupidity, or foolishness, but because the learning required
to avoid them is just plain difficult. Here are some examples of hard lessons.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming January 22: Disjoint Awareness: Bias
- Some cognitive biases can cause people in collaborations to have inaccurate understandings of what each other is doing. Confirmation bias and self-serving bias are two examples of cognitive biases that can contribute to disjoint awareness in some situations. Available here and by RSS on January 22.
- And on January 29: Higher-Velocity Problem Definition
- Typical approaches to shortening time-to-market for new products usually involve accelerating problem solving. Accelerating problem definition can also help. Available here and by RSS on January 29.
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- Get 2001-2 in Geese Don't Land on Twigs (PDF, )
- Get 2003-4 in Why Dogs Wag (PDF, )
- Get 2005-6 in Loopy Things We Do (PDF, )
- Get 2007-8 in Things We Believe That Maybe Aren't So True (PDF, )
- Get 2009-10 in The Questions Not Asked (PDF, )
- Get all of the first twelve years (2001-2012) in The Collected Issues of Point Lookout (PDF, )
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.