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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More articles on Emotions at Work:
- The Slippery Slope That Isn't
- "If we promote you, we'll have to promote all of them, too." This "slippery-slope"
tactic for winning debates works by exploiting our fears. Another in a series about rhetorical tricks
that push our buttons.
- Why Dogs Wag Their Tails
- If you've ever known a particular dog at all well, you've probably been amazed at how easy it is to
guess a dog's mood, even though dogs can't speak. Perhaps what's more amazing is that it's so difficult
to guess a person's mood, even though humans can speak.
- The Unappreciative Boss
- Do you work for a boss who doesn't appreciate you? Do you feel ignored or excessively criticized? If
you do, life can be a misery, if you make it so. Or you can work around it. It's up to you to choose.
- Inappropriate Levels of Regard
- The regard we have for others as people is sometimes influenced by the regard we have for the work they
do. Confusing the two is a dangerous error.
- Why Scope Expands: II
- The scope of an effort underway tends to expand over time. Why do scopes not contract just as often?
One cause might be cognitive biases that make us more receptive to expansion than contraction.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming August 22: Dealing with Credit Appropriation
- Very little is more frustrating than having someone else claim credit for the work you do. Worse, sometimes they blame you if they get into trouble after misusing your results. Here are three tips for dealing with credit appropriation. Available here and by RSS on August 22.
- And on August 29: Please Reassure Them
- When things go wildly wrong, someone is usually designated to investigate and assess the probability of further trouble. That role can be risky. Here are three guidelines for protecting yourself if that role falls to you. Available here and by RSS on August 29.
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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.