There is no doubt that rising unemployment and decreasing consumer confidence is an economical challenge for our country. Anyone who listens to the news, reads the newspaper, or receives RSS feeds of breaking stories knows that there is a problem in the job market.
And, an increasing number of us are worried about it. According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released today, thirty-six percent of people questioned said unemployment is the most important economic issue facing the country today. This is almost threes times higher than the 13% with the same feeling in April of last year.
I think we need to channel FDR and admonish ourselves with “There is nothing to fear except fear itself.” Yes, more people will lose their jobs before the recovery is complete. Most will find comparable jobs after a bit. Some will find better ones. The outcome depends on the individual.
If you are spending your resources on worrying about your job security, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your productivity, creativity, and attitude are diminished. There is a much better way.
Instead of thinking about what might happen if you lose your job, think about what might happen if you find a new way to acquire customers, improve productivity, and reduce costs. Direct your energy towards finding ways to improve your value to your company instead of focusing on the negative.
It won’t guarantee that your job is safe, but it significantly improves your odds. And, if the worst should happen, you have more cool stuff for your resume. Call it a win-win for the home team.
Tips to keep you focused:
- Now is not the time to hunker down and fall off the radar. Let your supervisor (and her supervisor, too if it is appropriate) know what you are doing. I have participated in layoff meetings. You do not want to be the person that nobody knows what you do.
- Smile at everyone. Be happy. Raise the bar for a positive work environment. If you have a challenge with this think, “I’m fortunate to have this job.” Repeat often. Years ago, I worked at a place where two women were called the “B&M” (as in b***h & moan) twins by everyone. They continuously regaled everyone with stories of corporate inadequacy. The first time there was a drop in revenue, they lost their jobs. A huge sigh of relief was heard throughout the company. Don’t let this be you.
- Get innovative. Try to find inexpensive ways to improve everything. Even if they are not implemented, you get dibs for trying.
Arrive a little early, leave a little late, and don’t be caught loitering around the water cooler. If there is going to be a layoff, managers are already making mental notes of who is the least productive.
- Start shopping. Update your resume and watch the job market. This downturn may be the kick you need to move up.
- Participate in the social media world. Invest now in helping others so that you can find help when you need it.