Keeping your (recession-proof) options

Keeping your (recession-proof) options

Alan Earls

Storage is hot. But what if it's suddenly "not"? Two recruiters offer some tips for hanging on and riding the storage wave -- no matter the direction you're headed.

M. Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, Inc. of Park City, Utah, says job one is to stay current with technology. That will help you keep your job. Or, if the job goes away, those will be "hot skills" that everyone wants to hire even in down times. Other suggestions include:

  • Focus on what management needs not which technology is "neat."
  • Keep your eyes open for business applications that generate revenue or improved customer service and see that management knows you are the key to the solutions they need to implement.
  • Don't be just a "technical wonk." These types are the first to go since management people do not really understand what they do.

With a slightly different set of warnings and suggestions, David A. Small, president of Scientific Placement, Inc., of Houston, Texas, says it's important to understand how important your function and your organization is. If you support a mission critical function -- or maybe even something as valued as a hospital emergency room or a nuclear power plant -- count yourself secure. Then, there are the relatively stable organizations (usually government agencies) that may be insulated from market conditions.

Who's vulnerable? It depends on the organization. Some cut high-salary individuals first. Others aim for those with low seniority. Contract employees also tend to afford the greatest potential cost savings (because of higher hourly rates and contracting firm mark-ups). Others likely to end up in the crosshairs of a layoff:

  • Troublemakers or complainers.
  • Lazy or unmotivated workers.
  • Non-essential job functions.
  • Undependable employees.
  • 'Soon to be gone anyway' employees. (For example, if you've let it be known that you're thinking of going back to grad school or moving back home to Kansas, then why not go ahead and lay you off now rather than someone else who is more committed to the company?)

Additional resources:

About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.


This was first published in January 2001

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