Layoffs have become almost an everyday occurrence in our area, and trying to avoid being laid off can cause stress, anxiety and desperation.
That's why we went straight to the experts to find out what people should be doing to keep their jobs.
They say it's probably not going to be a quick fix, but there are steps you can take to make your boss see your value to the company.
We talked to members of the group SCORE, who are retired executives that offer free business counseling out of their office in South Bend.
While there are a few small adjustments you can make, others may take some serious time, and may take you out of your comfort zone.
The retired mangers, with decades of experience of hiring and firing, say it can be easy to find the first person to let go.
“The one that is the least cooperative and the one that's the most difficult to deal with,” said Carol Barbour, a SCORE member.
“One thing that always aggravated me was an employee was five or ten minutes away from completing a particular job, and 5 o clock came they looked at their watch they went out the door and said they'll finish it tomorrow. You know that’s not taking the best interest of the company at heart,” said SCORE member Walter Johnson.
They say the last thing you want to do is give your boss a reason to not want you around.
So, if you don’t already, they say you should start showing up early and leaving late, and making sure you're dressed professionally.
Meanwhile, they say you should stop doing things that might be viewed as negative in the workplace, like complaining or gossiping.
“I mean its bad enough you do that by accident, so you don't want to go out of your way to do it that's for sure,” said G. Thomas Bull, another SCORE member.
But you do want to go out of your way to show your boss you're an employee that the company won't be able to part with.
One way is to show you're not afraid to walk into the office with ideas for improvements.
“In today's market you have to be a little more aggressive you have to be more upfront you have to really let your boss know that you're working with him on a team to make this company function and grow,” Barbour said.
They say as the job market changes, you'll likely have to as well. They say you might have to be prepared to work different shifts, or do a different job at the company.
They say talking to your boss about where you fit in to the changing picture is key.
“You want to ask, ‘How am I doing, what can I do better?’ Maybe ask, Where is the company going and how do I fit into that strategy?” said SCORE member Tom Catanzarite.
“If you try to maintain the status quo in your job, you're going to be bypassed yourself and you yourself will become obsolete in the company. So to protect your job you have to be able to accept these changes and adapt to them,” Johnson said.
Bottom line, they say showing that you care about the company, and contributing beyond what’s expected, may be able to make the difference.
But given the economic realities in our area, there’s no guarantees.
We'll have more tips tomorrow as part of Take Charge Thursday, and members of SCORE will be on our phone bank taking calls between 5:00pm and 6:30pm.