Avoid Termination or Layoffs by Staying Valuable to your Employer

Symptom:  You are feeling pretty satisfied with your workplace performance, and you feel like you are paid pretty well for the work you do for your employer.  Work is not all that stressful for you any more, not like the old days when you were just learning the ropes...

Cure:  You need to get quite a bit more paranoid about your situation, and fast, before it's too late!

Why it Works:  You and you alone are responsible for increasing your value to the company.  Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.  And you need to be a bit paranoid about this, a bit concerned and edgy that you might be falling behind.  Because guess what--you probably are.

Here's why:  As your career advances, so does your pay.  It's rare for any company to give people an annual decrease in pay to correspond to decreasing output or effectiveness.  So you really can't afford to become less valuable, or stay equally valuable, year after year.  Otherwise you will become both overpaid and obsolete, and will eventually find yourself looking for work!

Do your job profitably to stay valuable to your employer.
Think back to your first job out of school.  If you're like most people, your schooling wasn't all that relevant to your job, and at first you were not all that valuable to your company.  But the company saw potential in you, and so they took a risk that you would be able to contribute profitably in a reasonable amount of time.  You had a steep learning curve at first as you learned how to contribute.  During this time you probably worked pretty hard and worried quite a bit about how you were doing, how to do better, how to best present your work to others, and so on.

But now you've learned your job, you're doing it competently, more-or-less earning your salary, and your employer seems basically happy with your work.

But beware!  This stable situation could change very quickly.  There are a lot of forces that are changing your environment, whether you acknowledge them or not:
  • Your company faces competition from companies with lower-cost labor.
  • You face competition from younger people entering the workforce.
  • Your company may be acquired by a competitor, with the resulting "elimination of redundant positions" that may affect you.
  • Your skills may be getting rusty due to inactivity.
  • Your energy level and drive may have tapered off a bit.
  • New methods and tools have evolved that you are not familiar with.
The fact is that a company must always try to hire the best people, get the most they can out of their people, and retain only the best people, in order to be competitive and viable.  It's your responsibility to always provide good value to your employer.

If you want to advance your career, or even stay employed and continue your career, you need to provide ever-increasing value to your employer, even in the face of the external factors described above.  Don't expect anyone else to do this for you!  Take responsibility for this yourself.  It's not too hard to do, just look for the nearest mess and take charge!

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