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I know for a fact that you have been an outstanding employee . . . a team player . . . a person who brings value to the workplace. I am not for a minute questioning your commitment, your integrity, your drive, or your workplace ethics. I am, however, wondering if the company you currently work for is thriving in this economy, or if like many companies, it is considering a downsizing. Although a company downsizing is absolutely no fault of your own, I have some advice for you, particularly if your intuition is telling you that you need to “do something” because you sense that trouble may well be around the corner.

My advice . . . take action. Here are a couple of things you can do, both of which you should do sooner, rather than later:

First, fight hard to retain your position. Be visible about the value you bring to the organization. I’m not saying that you should be in your employer’s face, stating, “I’m valuable.” I’m saying do things that demonstrate your value.  Let me elaborate.

To remain within your existing position, work hard at contributing to a harmonious work environment, create positive working relationships, and (trite as this may seem), SMILE A LOT. Do not  complain or sulk. On the contrary, consider the challenges facing your place of employment and do everything you can to help your employer meet those challenges.  Collaborate with your colleagues in driving organizational productivity, profitability, and streamlining initiatives. Think “outside of the box.” Can you suggest cost avoidance techniques? Do you know vendors / suppliers who can deliver more “bang for the buck?” Any operating redundancies you can point to? Any organizational discrepancies causing unnecessary downtime? If so, speak up. Your suggestions may help save the company and your job!

In addition, if you are interested in remaining with the organization, stay late, work hard, and show that you can do more with less. Assume ownership of your job; become invested in it. If your duties are being reduced or eliminated, find tasks that need to be done, and do them.   Fulfill these new responsibilities with a smile!

Concurrently, however, start transitioning yourself towards a position outside of the organization. Since you want to optimize your chance for success, career pathing is not an “either/or” proposition. It is, in fact, a two-pronged approach.

Your career is undoubtedly rich with accomplishments. Start listing them. Think “challenges, actions, and results.” Document examples of how you add value to the workplace. Just by recalling these achievements, you will improve your confidence and be ready to have your resume professionally prepared.  Jot down the specific situation before you strove to improve it, describe the actions you took to meet the challenges imposed by the situation, and describe the positive results you achieved. Add impact by using numbers, percentages, and dollars to quantify your results.

No matter how things look in the company, always be prepared with a resume, cover letter, and job search strategy. Job strategists agree, it is always better to look for a job when you have a job.  I await your phone call . . . (609) 758-7799!

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