Yesterday I wrote about lack of professionalism in the workplace and how that could have a negative impact on one’s ability to find a job in the future. Let’s face it, the Jet Blue jumper knew that his actions would be the end of the line for his career at Jet Blue. Thinking about that scenario (knowing your actions would end your career at a company) prompted me to consider what actions one should take to keep his/her job in this economy.
Be a Rainmaker. Rainmaker is a term used for individuals who bring in a significant share of clients, sales, money, accounts, etc. for a business. If a company is planning layoffs, the last person management will let go is the person who is bringing in significant revenue. By generating business for your company, you help to ensure your and the company’s future existence.
How about if you are not in a sales/business development type position? Does not matter – be the person who helps those in rainmaker positions. Are there leads you can pass along to the sales/business development/account teams? Share ideas of how to improve or grow a relationship with an existing account. Can you help out a rainmaker in your office with a need he/she has? Even if you cannot be the rainmaker, it is good to be the person who is integral to the rainmaker’s success.
I have been focusing on generating revenue, but rainmakers can be individuals who propose ideas for cost savings. Eliminating costs can have the same impact to the bottom line as landing a new account. Consider ways to eliminate waste, down-time, or costs – these ideas are usually welcome by management even if they are not implemented. Communicating your ideas and customer leads to higher-ups is important – you want them to know that you are trying to be part of the solution during tough economic times. When cuts come, management is more likely to hold onto the solutions-oriented person than the individuals who are only concerned with covering their backsides.
How about being the team player that helps land an account, client, or performs a needed function? For example, helping out the admissions office by meeting with prospective students is one way I can help with a need they have. Volunteering to be a speaker at an alumni event is a way a professor can increase his/her overall value to the university. Be creative and think of how you can increase your value to your employer. As Stephen Viscusi (author of “Bulletproof Your Job: 4 Simple Strategies to Ride Out the Rough Times and Come Out on Top at Work”) warned, “The invisible guy is the first to go.” Personally, I think the problem folks are the first, invisible guy is a close second.
Tomorrow, lets consider the company you keep and how that could affect your survival rate.