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Keep Your Job
(October 1, 2001) When the slump is severe, issue mounds of platitudes. That appears to be the strategy of the venerable Christian and Timbers who, late last week issued the following advice through a press release. The subject was, effectively, how to hide under your desk when things get tough.
  1. Become a trusted advisor to your boss. "You must become irreplaceable to your boss. Be key to helping him or her make decisions and help get things done," Christian says. "Drive to work on the good of the organization and make your boss better. Make your boss a success. As a trusted advisor, you become indispensable to your boss and the organization."
  2. Look busy. "This isn't cynical advice," notes Christian. "The real advice is - -be busy; find out what is important to your boss or your company and do it. When work slows down, it is critically important to stay in the mainstream of the remaining workflow. Seek out projects. Ask people if they need help. Make it clear to those around you that you want to be busy."
  3. Get in early and stay late. Christian advises, "Even if the workflow in your company diminishes, don't cut back on your own hours. Your presence in the office, both early in the morning and after most people have left for the night, sends a strong message that you are busy, that you're ready to pitch in and that you can be trusted to do whatever it takes to get the work done."
  4. Become more important to your customers. Servicing your customers' needs, beyond the specific confines of your relationship with them, is an essential component to success in any economic client. As Christian explains, "During a recession, when customers will be reevaluating their relationships with all their suppliers and service providers, those who add value will be most likely to win out." This may mean working with your customer or client to understand their broader strategic goals and to introduce them to other people or companies that can help them achieve those goals.
  5. Figure out how to save money. "Every company is looking for ways to help their bottom line by cutting expenses," notes Christian. "Doing your job in a more cost-efficient manner is an important way to add value."
  6. Become a valued coach and mentor. "People bring value to their companies not simply by performing the job that they themselves have been assigned to do, but also by helping other employees perform their own jobs better," Christian explains. "Mentoring other employees is an important task, no matter what the economic climate. It helps to transmit, not just job skills, but also company culture and to build a cohesive workforce. These are assets that every employer values."
  7. Be confident. Notes Christian, "No matter how hard you work, how late you stay or how much value you add to the company, it will all go unnoticed if you project insecurity and fear. Of course, false bravado wears thin quickly, so confidence must be backed up with real skill and real commitment. Nonetheless, an assured demeanor will take you far."
a cynical read suggests that the executives served by the Christian and Timbers network are being urged to:
  1. Get those photos from last year's Christmas party developed. Get dupes.
  2. Look busy.
  3. Do your shopping at lunch time.
  4. Cut prices to important customers.
  5. Trim the excesses from your expense report.
  6. Get to know subordinates well enough to really criticize them.
  7. Act like you aren't going to get the axe.
Or, you could recognize that there is no better time to find a great gig than when everyone else is following this list.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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