Top 10 Ways To Survive A Tight Labor Market

In today's work environment, feeling vulnerable is the norm. Others around you are losing their jobs due to layoffs & downsizing. Every day, newspapers report corporate dismissals. You don't want to be the next victim of corporate downsizing.

The word "survive" comes from the Latin word supervivere, which means "to live." The prefix sur means "over or above."

Here are some tips to help you survive the times ­ so you can remain over and above the turmoil of the tight labor market.

1. Know your worth. When you know your own worth, others take you more seriously because you take yourself more seriously. When you know and appreciate your own value, you're also able to better hear appreciation from others. The synergy created when one values oneself produces results far greater than when you don't acknowledge and appreciate yourself.

2. Know your talents & skills. You're not perfect ­ no one is. Don't try and be perfect at the expense of not being yourself. If you're so busy expanding your horizons and becoming someone else, there's little opportunity to be who you are! This point ties in to knowing your self worth; it's difficult to know your worth if you haven't identified your talents and skills! Acknowledge your talents and skills so you can optimize what you're already good at. The strategy of leveraging your skills and talents to generate a more powerful performance is equally effective for generating future opportunities.

3. Stay ahead of the curve. Top performers rarely look to see who they're ahead of during the race. Instead, they keep their focus on the present as well as the next step. They look to the horizon for the fulfillment of their vision. In fact, they create the future by staying ahead of the curve! They stay at the forefront of innovation and development ­ of product & of process. How can YOU stay ahead of the curve in your position or industry? Take steps now to create your future by staying ahead of the curve. Your company won't want to risk losing an employee who's at the forefront of innovation and who produces impeccable results. Create higher standards than what's expected of you in order to stay ahead of the game.

4. Maintain objectivity. In as much as you give 100% of yourself to your job, it's not necessarily personal when corporate human resource decisions are made. Other forces may be at work in the decision to lay off a person or department. It's important to remember this during times of faltering confidence. Maintain perspective in order to have a positive attitude.

5. Stay connected! Yes, you're overloaded at work due to increased demands. The idea of lunch with a colleague or a mentor is nice, but it's the lowest priority on your to do list. Tip: stay connected! It's much easier to ask people for support, job leads or information if you've nurtured or maintained the connections all along. People enjoy supporting their friends and colleagues, but no one wants to feel taken advantage of, or "used." Show appreciation to co-workers and colleagues before you need their assistance. Stay connected!

6. Embrace change. When you embrace change, you're more resilient and your actions more nimble. Don't take refuge in the status quo. Progress never resulted from maintaining the status quo! Innovation is messy and sometimes chaotic. Embracing change results in heightened awareness and stronger actions, as well as shifts in perspective. When you embrace change, you're more likely to be causing the change (or at least, flowing with it!) versus resisting it. Choice lives in each moment when one embraces change.

7. Nourish Yourself. The concept of self-care remains especially important during the stressful times of a recession. Take time to nourish yourself while continuing to develop you professionally and personally. Nourishment isn't a luxury; it's a core ingredient of development.

8. Be Prepared. Imagine the worst and take action before it happens! It's important to be fiscally responsible when facing a tightening economy. Cut back on luxuries if necessary and start preparing "what if" scenarios. Prepare an exit plan before you need it. Take action now on the "what ifs" so you're prepared should you lose your job. The actions you take will be helpful regardless of your job's status.

9. Brainstorm Creative Solutions. While you may realize the importance of personal and professional development, you may be reluctant to invest resources into anything other than what's most essential - the basics. Think creatively for ways in which you can continue to nurture and develop yourself, regardless of how much money you may or may not have. Don't let finances be an obstacle to your development. Creative brainstorming can help!

10. Express gratitude. It's difficult to be positive in the face of danger, yet having a positive outlook is essential. Acknowledging all that's in your life can help. Express appreciation for all that you have and all that you are. Let the people in your life know they're important to you. Take nothing for granted and be communicative about what matters the most.

Jan Gordon, LCSW is an Executive and Personal Coach who finds great joy in helping her clients achieve outstanding results! Ms. Gordon provides coaching to individuals and teams who are dedicated to enhancing their personal power and sense of fulfilment. Her coaching embraces the concept that challenge provides opportunity. Visit her website at: Jan can reached at

Copyright © 2001 by Jan Gordon. All Rights Reserved. This content may be forwarded only in full, with copyright/bio/contact/creation information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Jan Gordon is required.

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