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Avoid the firing line and stay in your job

21 February 2012, 07:11

By Jody Hendricks

Since the global financial meltdown, retrenchment has become part of our everyday vocabulary. Jobs are not safe and people are usually the first to go when a company start to cutback. Since the economic crash in 2008 more than a million South Africans have lost their jobs and counting. Here today, gone tomorrow. But you don’t have to be another statistic. Here are five ways to avoid the firing line and build a bright career. Lets work it

Grow your skills

Get the edge over your colleagues. Having skills other employees don’t will only be to your benefit. Know what the latest skills are that people in your field need to have and acquire it. People who the company needs, rather than people who need the company are not going anywhere.


Don’t moan if you have to attend another seminar or workshop. Go and network. Let people in the industry know who you are. Namedrop, let your boss know you had a nice chat with the CEO from a rival company. He’ll never let someone go who’ll be an asset to the opposition.

Who’s the boss

Most bosses are from the planet idiot, but he is still the guy who pays your salary at the end of the month. Get to know him. Does he like rugby or soccer? Tea or coffee? Men or woman? Strike up a conversation that’s not work related. Show interest in him as a person and not as the boss. The worker he has never spoken to is much more likely to get the chop than the one who remembered his favourite team won over the weekend

Lead the way

As the saying goes, anyone can manage but not everyone can lead. Managers worry about retrenchment while leaders worry about where to go for their next holiday. Be a leader in your company. When your boss walks around with the chairman of the board, he should introduce his leading man to the big shots. Your leadership qualities should be known at the highest level. If it is, then you have a bright future with the company.

Stay ambitious

When it’s time to cut back bosses usually go for the dead wood first. These are people who have been doing the same job for years, never applied for a promotion and are just content with getting their salary at the end of the month. Don’t be just another number. Show your boss you’re ambitious and that you have big plans for the future. Go for broke and apply for that job that’s a level higher than your current post. People who are career driven won’t be let you go that easily.

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