Tricounty News

Smart tips for holding on to your job in a recession

Every day, it seems as if the news is filled with reports of layoffs and job cuts at more companies. If you're concerned about the safety of your own position, there are some smart steps you can take to recession-proof your situation, according to the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA).

Be a standout

A recession is a good time to increase your visibility and show off your good side to your employer. Aim for excellence in everything you do. Develop a reputation for reliability, cooperation, timeliness and any other positive attributes you believe your boss values most. In short, even if you were doing a great job before, try to work even harder to prove just how indispensable you are.

Go beyond the basics

How can you manage that? If you've been keeping strict 9-to-5 hours, it may be time to consider a change in habits. Getting in early and staying late can impress your boss and demonstrate your commitment to your job. If your boss asks for volunteers for a new project, make sure your name is on the list. Try to maintain a cheerful attitude that has a positive influence on your co-workers. Whenever possible, go the extra mile so that your boss sees you as someone who can be counted on at all times.

Highlight your high points

Don't be shy about your accomplishments. In fact, it's a good idea to create a list of your achievements, with specific details about the contribution you've made. For example, if you're directly involved in sales or budgeting, add up the money you believe you've brought into the company or helped save it. If you're in an administrative job, perhaps your ideas for changing work flow in your department have cut down on the time needed to complete projects. No matter what your situation, be aware of all the good work you have done - and be ready to talk about it. When these subjects come up, don't hesitate to remind your boss about the contributions you've made. If you believe your company is on the verge of layoffs, consider meeting with your boss to describe in detail the positive benefits you've brought and what you believe you can add in the future.

Consider a pay cut

Many companies are offering employees pay cuts or unpaid furloughs as a way to avoid outright layoffs. Taking home less money for the same job doesn't sound like a good deal, but it just may be right now. That's because employment can be hard to find in a recession and you will be losing out on your entire salary during the weeks - and perhaps months - that it may take you to find a new position. That's why a pay cut or furlough may be a good compromise for both you and your company. In fact, if you are subject to a layoff, try offering to work for reduced pay instead. Companies are usually very reluctant to lay off good workers but may feel they have no other choice - unless you give them one.

Turn to your CPA

People who are uncertain about their own job security usually also have many other questions about important financial issues.

Remember that your local CPA can help. Consult him or her on all the critical financial issues facing your family.

Information and resources are available to the public on the MNCPA Web site and at including tax and financial-planning information for individuals and small businesses. A free CPA referral service is also available on the Web site or by calling (800) 331-4288. The MNCPA is part of the national 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy campaign to help Americans improve financial literacy; information and resources are available at