How Knowledge Can Help You Save Your Job

Do you know enough about your sector, your company, and your field?

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I've blogged recently about ways to secure your job amid layoff rumors. It's a timely subject. Fortify Your Oasis—an excellent careers blog—offers some more advice today. One good thing to "stock your lifeboat with," Fortify says, is:

In-depth knowledge of your sector—who is up/down? Who is hiring/firing? Who is expanding/merging/hostile-takeovering?

If layoff rumors aren't worrying you but your bad relationship with your boss is, the advice is a bit different:

  • First and overridingly, make sure you are seen to be committed, enthusiastic and contributing. Don't expect people to notice your successes, you need to develop a framework so that you can get the good news out there.
  • If your skills have been sliding, you need to get serious about keeping them current. Talk to your boss, HR and T&D [training and development]. Do some computer based training (CBT) or home study to kick you off; but stay current.
  • Try and get yourself on to a key projectsomething that the company isn't going to walk away from in the short term. Volunteer for the nightmare (but very important) organisational transformation jobbie. The one you KNOW is going to last 12-18 months and they can't afford to dump anyone involved in it.

Notice that in both situations, knowledge is key. You want to know what's happening in your sector, what's happening at your company, what's happening in your division, and what's happening with your job. You also want to beef up your technical knowledge if your skills aren't up to par. In that case, keep in mind that you don't want to incur great cost for your employer. Go ahead and inquire about educational opportunities, but make it clear that you don't want to spend a lot of the company's money.

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