Dealing With a Shrinking Job Market
When the economy tightens, eventually the job market shrinks. When jobs shrink, bosses
are more likely to keep "utility players" who can handle a variety of roles.
- Advertise your fear about losing your job.
- Come across as an "old fogie" who resists all change.
- Evaluate your skills and see what new ones you can add to be more valuable to your company.
- Talk positively about solutions you can bring to company problems.
- Be active in networking with others about potential opportunities.
Guardians are the most likely of all types to be tied to the past and resist changes.
Their best tactic to stay relevant is to regularly observe skills needed by the company
and make an effort to learn at least one new skill every year to stay employable.
They'll also do well if they are knowledgeable about what is going on in their field
so that changes do not take them unaware.
Artisans are often the most adaptable, but like to be in control of their own destiny
so may have trouble accepting helpful advice. They'll do best if they do not move into
anger or emotionalism and maintain their sense of humor. Bosses are usually turned off
by anger and high emotionalism and appreciate the employee who can stay positive when
times are tough. Like Guardians, they need to keep adding to their skill set.
Idealists often absorb not only their own pain, but that of their fellow co-workers
who are facing a shrinking job market. They might try to help others and neglect helping
themselves. They need to take time to write down how they have positively contributed to
the company's bottom line. Most bosses want specific facts, not global descriptions which
are the Idealist's normal way of communicating.
Rationals, who comprise a small percentage of the population, can come across as
arrogant or too intellectual. Like Idealists, they need to translate their visions
into concrete facts that are understandable to the more numerous Guardians and Artisans.
Since Rationals seek expert status, they can sometimes have trouble moving into a new area
where they are a novice. Sticking with a no-longer-needed skill set will ensure that they
are on the lay-off list. They can profit by doing a risk analysis of different options
All employees need to learn how to talk positively about their past efforts and
current plans to keep a company functioning. They need to be seen as a part of the
solution. For new employees, it is necessary to show their dedication to the company
by working hard, turning out quality work and staying away from gossip and complaints.
Getting a reputation as a hard worker goes a long way in contributing to job security.
Experienced employees also need be seen as hard working plus they should take advantage
of the network of contacts they have within the organization. Having a positive attitude,
coupled with their deep knowledge of the organization and understanding of the current
situation will give them the edge in keeping their job.