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Susan M. Heathfield

Want to Keep Your Job?

By May 7, 2011

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Despite predictions of economic recovery, unemployment was 9% for April 2011. The total jobs gained were 244,000. In the private sector, 268,000 jobs were gained but government jobs dropped by 24,000.

Yet, my mail box is still filled with PR pitches telling me that up to 75% of employees are planning to leave their current employer when the economy improves. For now though, I'd advise employers to develop and add in employee retention strategies before the predicted exodus begins. The employees you will lose, without these strategies, will be your best and most skilled, with the hardest to replace skill sets.

I'd advise employees to hold on to the job that you have until you have another job in hand. When McDonalds went on the hiring spree in mid-April, the most striking component of their recruiting, was that they had so many high quality candidates that they hired more people than they had predicted.

This means that a portion, perhaps a large portion, of the 62,000 people hired are way under employed for their skills and experience. This is not good.

If you are an employee, your focus should remain on keeping your current job by increasing your value to your company. Let's face it, companies do not lay off their best employees unless the employee works in a non-critical position or the company is suffering near death throes.

How to Keep Your Job

But, you need to have a strategy about how to keep your job. I've listed a few in my poll and highlighted ten strategies in How to Keep Your Job.

What's your strategy for staying employed in the current economic climate? You do have a strategy - don't you? Please respond in "comments" or take a look at what others have said, and share your strategy.

More About How to Keep Your Job

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May 19, 2009 at 10:12 am
(1) Karla says:

I agree, we need a strategy for keep the job, i`m the H.R manager in a small family company so what i am doing is Making my contributions measurable and visible, but it`s hard to do it because usually my boss only see the negative things, i was thinking of quit but it seemed like a bad decition now.

May 20, 2009 at 12:20 am
(2) Anna says:

I quit my job. My boss had extreme rules that had to be followed at all times. I was asked back by his boss, but the conditions were intolerable so I politely declined. I’m lucky my husband brings in a very good salary, but I still miss parts of my HR Officer position.

Thank your lucky stars if your boss doesn’t have these strict rules to follow everyday. He actually quoted the words that start each rule at least once a week.

Our Office Rules:
1) “Do not bring the office into your home and do not bring your home into the office.” We could not talk about our home life, could not display photos or items about our home (kids, family) in the office and no family members are ever allowed in the office.

2) “Don’t try too hard to gussy yourself up.” We were told to not dress-for-success or wear anything similar to someone higher up than himself; he will mock anything that might draw attention to you including make-up, jewelry or a hairstyle that might imply you spent more than 3 minutes on it even if it is professional, simple and tasteful.

3) “I love money more than anything else.” Expect to work for a secretarial wage but be given an officer’s workload.

4) “Just do it my way.” Expect to be asked to cheat on your time sheet including your overtime and weekend hours in spite of company rules and regulations.

5) “Keep the target moving.” Clean up all of his mistakes and keep them silent including shipping items left in hotel rooms, change last-minute itinerary travel plans because of grandchildren schedules and post-date filled positions that were never posted on the company website.

6) “Read My Mind.” He actually had a game where he’d put a letter in a file and you had to guess where he’d put it in the computer and in what file based upon the content of the letter. He expected you to know what he wanted, when he wanted it, and how he wanted it without any instructions or deadlines.

7) “Hire beneath you.” Hire staff without experience or an HR degree so you can maintain control, then expect them to know all HR rules and regulations without having any experience. If you hire someone with an HR degree, they might know more or want to negotiate a higher salary.

8) “Keep them guessing.” We were instructed to not answer any online applications with a polite “thank you for applying” letter so applicants keep re-applying and don’t know if they ever have a chance at a position. He forwarded all his calls to my phone since he didn’t want to talk with anyone.

9) “Once an employee fills out a transfer form, their lives are mine.” We were instructed to not talk to or respond via email or call employees who have questions about their job and where or if they are being transferred. Review #8 if you have questions.

10) “Pull them in and then push them away.” His basic philosophy of how to keep his employees in line is by acting interested in what they are saying and then ignoring them when he got busy.

11) “If someone messes with me, I’m going to mess with them.” If he thought someone was challenging his authority, he would make sure they didn’t receive answers to their questions about a promotion, a transfer or made sure their life was miserable in many different ways.

12) “Give them less than what they want.” If someone above him requested information from the HR database or a list of open positions, he would edit the list so it contained the smallest amount of information possible, which would a)satisfy them without giving them everything they wanted to know b)kept them in the dark regarding all the omitted information and c)kept them coming back for more information so he can control the amounts of information he gives out and if or when he gives it out. Although the company toted a “let’s be transparent” protocol, he preferred to keep everyone in the dark as much as possible.

I tried every single item on the “What’s Your Strategy For Staying Employed” list in a respectful and peaceful way to no avail. My boss did not see my resignation coming and apologized profusely afterwards for neglecting me. My hope for him is that he will validate the next person who works for him regularly and pay them what they are really worth.

June 6, 2009 at 12:25 pm
(3) Ericson Keleko says:

I worked as Administrative Assistant in the Human Resource Department of International Bank (Liberia) Limited, a Banking institution in Liberia, West Africa.

It’s very true that I need to maintain my job, but it seem like some days it will not be possible to do so because my immediate boss is not only bad, but she is incompetent. As a result of her incompetency she’s always shifting blame on me when she make any error. She’s never willing to admit to her wrong doings and this has been happening since I joined the company in August 2009. Almost everyone in the department is finding it difficult to perform well. She possess less quality of a manager and she’s serving in the position of Deputy Human Resource Manager. She’s even rough than the Department Head and she likes power more than any one I have ever seen in my life. Her work pattern is so stressful. I sometimes find myself answering to her loud calls whenever I sit in a quiet place alone. This also happens to me even in my sleep and I am getting sick and tire of it on the daily basis.

This is my very first job I have ever had and I want to be well develop in the Human Resource Profession while keeping my job.

Now, how do I handle/work with such a person in making sure that my job is maintain? I need more tips on my concern and I will continue to appreciate everyone whose going to share their experiences and ideas with me. Thanks a million to all.

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