Education Career Services

January 30, 2009

Invisibility: Layoff vs. Payoff

So, what’s going on besides too many job eliminations?  A few days ago I read that the United States as a whole lost 450,000 jobs in one 24-hour period.  Needless to say, this is not a great sign for the month of February.  What does this mean for the normal “barely paying the bills” kind of household and what can one do to stay in demand?


Combining external reading with my experience as a professional career writer and coach, several threads are stitching the daily job fabric …self awareness and transference of the contributions one offers to a current or potential employer.  In other words, if you are not adding to the bottom line AND letting your supervisors know your value, you may be out of a job soon—even if you are the best under the roof! 


Where does job security begin?  Like any good story, the beginning begins with self discovery and other-awareness.


During the past three or so years, the way employers looked at employees have changed.  No longer are the days of invisibility (yet still getting the job done) good enough to make it to retirement.  In today’s market, you must make yourself known to the world.  No doubt your peers (and you) can do the job—but doing is not enough in such tight times.  You are now required to do much more and more often than not, receive much less (relatively speaking).  Oh, for the hard-headed, there is no escape from this reality so get over yourself.


Added value defines layoff versus payoff; which side do you belong?  In effect, to remain afloat, we must become super-hero resourceful in what and how we do a job, welcome adaptability (stop the whining), and learn more about who that person seen in the mirror is all about.  These new mindsets are only a beginning; but know this: each person is defined not by what we see in the glass reflection; each person is defined by what the other person sees (and hears, heck, throw in all the senses).


Layoff vs. Payoff:  Bring more to the table than is required and don’t be afraid or timid to let others know your value.  By assessing yourself and developing overall skills, the quality and variety of options grow.  Our current career market is becoming thinner each day and the time to be seen has never been more important.  Again, I ask, which side do you belong?


Start being visible now by developing a plan of growth.  If you need help in this, all you have to do is ask.


Remember, if things don’t change, they will remain the same…is that where you need (or want) to be? I thought you’d say that.



Danny Huffman


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