Friday, October 17, 2008

My Recession Strategy

Yikes, the economic news is certainly scary these days. So what do you do if you think layoffs are coming?

Get into the top third

Every boss right now is making a list, real or mental, that focuses on which employees are in the top third and which are in the bottom third. Get into the top third of that list by doing the following:
  • Add value in the areas that your boss will be evaluated on.
  • Make your boss's job easier/more pleasant.
Some examples for adding value:
  • Is your boss tasked with off-shoring certain aspects of the work and you've been the lone voice of reason in the wilderness pointing out the foolishness of such an endeavor? (Substitute the appropriate goal: implementing DITA, going to a new CMS, etc.) Step one: Shut up! Step two: Find ways to make it work.
  • Yeah, yeah, we're all about the user, yay user, but take a look at ways to cut development time, production costs, etc., and let your boss know what you're doing there as well.
Some examples for making your boss's job easier or more pleasant:
  • Be happy. Seriously, people would rather work with happy people than with chronic whiners.
  • Having personality conflicts with someone? Get over it or at least appear to. If someone is habitually whining about you and you have nothing bad to say in return, you make the top third, he makes the bottom third.
  • Having legitimate work conflicts? Stay positive and work through the solution.
  • When discussing issues with your boss, have a success path defined--don't tell them how the project will fail.
Remember, in a layoff, the decision as to who goes and who stays will be made for some rational reasons and some emotional reasons. Cover down on both.

One more thing...

Oh yeah, start going to your local STC chapter meetings. Never hurts to fire up the network before you need it.

1 comment:

Ray said...

Most people that were laid off remain hopeful. There are many good jobs posted on employment sites - links from techcrunch:

http://www.linkedin.com (networking)
http://www.indeed.com (aggregated listings)
http://www.realmatch.com (matches you to jobs)

Good luck!