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Five Ways to Ward Off Unemployment in 2013 -- #1: Go in Early

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"...job cuts and layoffs are expected to continue throughout the year."

[Editor’s note: The following is a cross post by David Bakke, a financial contributor for the blog Money Crashers. He writes about issues related to money management, careers, business, and economic policy in the U.S.]:

Although the unemployment rate has edged down a bit, some are saying that it's unlikely to dip below 7.5 percent by year's end. Therefore, since job cuts and layoffs are expected to continue throughout the year, it is in your best interests to ward off unemployment in any way that you can.

Here are five tips to help ensure that you remain employed in 2013:

1. Get to Work Early

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If you ask managers what irritates them most about their team, you'll find that employee tardiness is at or near the top of the list. Therefore, it's in your best interest to start arriving to work early. You never know when a traffic jam, accident, or other problem will arise that can cause you to be late. If you're paid hourly, you can even boost your paycheck by arriving to work on time.

2. Be a Part of the Solution

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Every employee has complaints about their job or company. However, instead of wasting your time complaining about the things you don't like about your job, look for ways to improve your situation. Even if you're not complaining aloud, it's not hard to notice an employee with a poor attitude. This makes you less pleasant to be around, and possibly one of the first to go if layoffs are in order.

3. Assist Your Boss

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Assisting your boss is another great way to avoid the unemployment line. However, you don't want to come off as pandering to your boss, and you certainly don't want to look like you're sucking up in the eyes of your coworkers -- so be careful to not overdo it.

That said, managers have been presented with increased workloads as a result of company cutbacks, so you should have a wide variety of additional responsibilities to choose from. Just be sure to take on work that's in your range of expertise, and if you're given an extra responsibility, make sure you complete the project effectively and on time.

4. Don't Gossip

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Think that gossiping won't affect your employment status? Twenty-one states now have "healthy workplace" bills in place. This means that in some cases, your gossiping could be construed as bullying, and you therefore run the risk of losing your job. Rise above the fray of office gossip, keep your relationships professional, and avoid the urge to bad mouth other employees.

5. Stick to the Basics

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Although taking on extra projects can help reduce the chance of losing your job, make sure you're still focused on the basics. Complete all your responsibilities, projects, and assignments well ahead of schedule and at a high level of quality. Often, those who go overboard trying to impress their boss end up taking on too much and ultimately failing. If you remain steady and produce great work, you're much more likely to keep your job than if you all your quality to slip.

Final Thoughts: One final tip to avert prolonged unemployment is to never burn your bridges. It's important to do what you can to avoid job loss in the first place, but more importantly, always give plenty of notice if you decide to leave a job, and always resist the urge to bash your employer if you are released. You never know when you might need a reference or even a position at a previous company, so be polite and professional at all times.

What additional ways can you suggest to help stave off unemployment?

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