What skills do Engineers need to learn in this phase of No Jobs. Is anyone layoff proof? Can you take action to avoid getting laid off? Every day we hear about thousands of engineering job layoffs across multiple industries, regions, and company sizes. If you are employed, you are likely worried about what could happen next.
There is no magic formula for guaranteeing employment security, but there are a number of steps you can take to avoid the likelihood of a layoff.
When layoff rumors start to fly, many people mistakenly hunker down in the hopes of becoming invisible. But instead, you should send out periodic progress reports and updates. Also, be clear about what your responsibilities are and make sure you are meeting them. Take pride in your job and go that extra mile. You’ll want to make yourself irreplaceable. Companies are less likely to get rid of their star engineers.
As an employee, you have 100% control over your job performance and you can help to control your image, perceptions, etc. In this economy, you must not only meet- but exceed job expectations.
Continue to educate yourself by looking for opportunities at your company and elsewhere to learn new and diverse skills. This can only help you at your current job as well as down the road when you’re looking for a new one.
If you work for a medium to a large company, they likely have multiple product lines, services, or divisions. Even though sales are down across the board for most companies, there are likely pockets of “bright spots”.
If layoffs are rampant at your company, consider offering to take a temporary salary reduction. If nothing else, this can prolong your time there while you can begin hunting for a new position.
If you work for a company in distress, your first instinct may be to jump ship. In many cases, it’s last hired, first fired.
Network with colleagues who work in those areas to learn about job openings before they’re advertised publicly and to see if you can secure a referral.
If you are working in an area of decline, do what you can to get involved with the growth areas. Build relationships with the leaders and influencers in those areas. Volunteer for projects that touch those areas. Provide ideas to help leaders in those areas. And, if jobs open up in the growth areas, consider making an internal move.
The first type is an engineer who is extremely intelligent, insightful, has great ideas and a lot to offer but has very bad timing and/or poor delivery. They wait until a very public setting to disagree with a senior leader and share why their ideas are better. Although their ideas may be incredible or “right”, presenting in this forum can make both the employee and presenter look bad in the eyes of other employees. It can also distract attendees from hearing the senior leader’s important messages.
You can stand out in a positive way, by helping your peers and coworkers better handle the changes. This includes taking the time to listen to their concerns or fears, offering helpful advice, being supportive, and being positive.
By networking within your company and building relationships across functions and locations you position yourself for a future transfer. Considering the economic conditions, there will be a lot of job-seeking competition. You want to be one of the first people a hiring manager may think of when filling their opening.
You can learn more about what your company needs, by fully understanding your firm’s hot spots or growth areas and through effective networking. There is no downside to expanding your knowledge and skills. This action could only help you both personally and professionally.
Most importantly, be smart and prepared either for the worst or a better opportunity. Your highest priority should be an updated resume, focused on your most marketable skills. You don’t want to have to rush to get it done following a sudden dismissal or when a great job opportunity suddenly comes along.