History has a way of repeating itself. Way back in 1999 I lost my job during the dotcom crash. The company I was working for shut shop leaving atleast 75 of us without jobs. It was o.k then. Mostly due the fact that I was a bachelor and more importantly I had no loans or credit cards. Living was easy then, you need few rupees a day for the chai – cigarettes, petrol was cheap and you were a king if you had Rs.100 in your pocket. Parents were more or less ok to lend you that much.
Fast forward 10 years to 2009, another recession year with layoffs, salary cuts and increased workloads. I have a safe job, hopefully, atleast for this year. But today the idea of losing my job scares me. The reason – today I have a home loan, a car loan, a personal loan and a couple of credit cards with moderate balances, family to feed and kids to educate. The thought of losing my job is like a nightmare.
But living through the recession taught me a thing or two. These tips are not for saving you from pink slips during recession, rather they are guidelines that need to be followed in normal times. Follow these guidelines and its highly unlikely that you would need to face the pink slip during recession, unless, ofcourse your company is so badly hit that it has to shut shop.
1. Avoid getting a job in the first place – Seriously, do this and you’ll never have to face the pink slip. Instead of a job become an entreprenuer or a free lancer or a consultant/guru in your choosen area. This has been put in a very clear manner by Steve Pavlina in his blog post – 10 Reasons you should never get a job. I cannot explain it more clearly than him.
2. Think of your job as a career – This is especially true for most of the Indian IT workers, who in their pursuit of higher salaries, change jobs like their jeans. Avoid doing that. Companies value employees with long service. Almost every IT company that I know, has some form of rewarding its long serving employees. And believe me they would be the last people in the company who would face the pink slips. The long service award in an Indian IT company is not really a long one, it ranges from 3 to 5 years
3. Job itself - This one is a no brainer. You should be knowledgable, efficient and productive when performing the day to day activities of your job. The more people approach you for help, guidance the better your chances of survival.
4. Soft skills - Softskills like presentation, communication, negotiation skills are becoming far more important in today’s workplace. Having good presentation skills might help your impress your senior managers whenever you get a chance to present something to your superiors. The more you are noticed higher up, the less the chances of facing a pink slip.
5. Attitude - Your attitude towards work determines your survival during tough times. Go getter, helpful, proactive – if these are few of the words used to describe you at your work place then your chances of facing the pink slip are almost reduced by 75%.
Inspite of all these, chances are that your company may decide to layoff you depending on how badly its been hit by recession, management decisions and karma. But don’t lose hope, if you have all the qualities mentioned then you can definitely get employment somewhere else. Employers do verify with your previous employers and shall defintely wouldn’t want to miss out of employing people having such abilities and attitude.
What do you readers think ? Do you think the above advise holds good or you differ, please provide your feedback in the comments. I would appreciate it.