“Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual.”

– Homa Bahrami

"Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You."

– Tom Peters

Since the onset of the current economic downtown I’ve spoken with many professionals on how they’re enhancing the survivability of their jobs, and in many cases even managing to excel and move up. The following are six job protection and advancement strategies coupled with real life examples, with references from my book (click on title): "Confident Communication at the Workplace".

1. Take on long term, strategic endeavors.

An administrative professional took courses in negotiation and mediation, and became part of the negotiation team representing human resource interests of all administrative staff in the organization. His unique, strategic position meant that he was an unlikely candidate for layoff. 

“Even individuals need to develop a brand for themselves .... Whatever your area of expertise, you can take steps to make people think of YOU when they think of your field.”

– Accelepoint Webzine

2. Participate in revenue generating tasks.

For the past few years the operations director of an organization increased the scope of her responsibility from building security and maintenance to marketing and renting out the facility for conferences and special events. Her revenue generating capacity, plus the personal relationship she established with many regular clients, made her position more secure.

“In a competitive world, organizations are realizing that only people can
brand products or services effectively – that we are not just selling a
branded product but a mass of branded people who support and deliver it.”

– Helena Rubinstein

3. Oversee projects that make you indispensable.

When the assistant manager of a large, non-profit organization was offered the task of upgrading the computer network for the entire firm, he took it on with gusto. Not only was he eager to bring new technology into the organization, he was also well aware of the fact that, as the only employee who knows how to make the computer network run without a hitch, the task made his position in the firm indispensable.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

– Thomas Edison

4. Incorporate multiple positions and responsibilities to reduce employer cost.

When a data processing firm implemented a hiring freeze with possible layoffs on the horizon, an office manager took on an additional position left vacant by the freeze. By clearly demonstrating to her employer that she’s boosting productivity while saving the company money, she increased her value and the likelihood that she’ll be protected from layoffs.

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” 

– John Wooden

5. Acquire specializations that make you indispensable.

A high tech professional working for a global media outlet took an advanced certification course which qualified him as one of only two hundred and fifty people in the U.S. with that skill set. This specialization, plus his ability to effectively communicate with clients and managers, helped him keep his job through merger and consolidation.

“If you can, be first. If you can't be first, create a new category in which you can be first.”

– Al Ries & Jack Trout 

6. Develop cross-occupational niche.

Example #1: A production worker saw the writing on the wall that his facility was going to shut down and all the jobs outsourced. With great foresight, he took foreign language classes to enhance his qualifications. When layoffs came, he not only survived, but received a promotion to manage from the U.S. the team overseas.

Example #2: Many realtors, in the absence of large number of home sales, are taking courses to branch into areas such as foreclosures and property management.

"Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention."

– Richard Branson

“Everybody wants to be a winner, but only a few are willing to spend the time and energy to become one, and that separates a winner from all the rest.”

– Br. Philip Keavny

If you're interested in receiving professional private coaching on advancing your career and creating a unique brand, e-mail me at: commsuccess@nipreston.com.

For more on professional success, see my books (click on titles):

"Confident Communication at the Workplace"

"Confident Communication for Female Professionals"

Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn!

Preston Ni, M.S.B.A. is available as a presenter, workshop facilitator, and private coach. For more information, write to commsuccess@nipreston.com, or visit www.nipreston.com.

© 2012 by Preston C. Ni. All rights reserved worldwide. Copyright violation may subject the violator to legal prosecution.


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