Merry Christmas - You're Fired!
Archived Articles 15 Dec 2008  EWR
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It is not just the automotive sector or financial services world that are having problems – it is the entire economy. And that means even the strongest managers and their staff have something to worry about this year: job security.

"Instead of enjoying a well-earned break, many people are concerned they may not have a job to go back to after the holidays," says Randall Craig, author of several career planning books, including the best-seller Personal Balance Sheet. "The stress of today's tough times economy means that sometimes even a lump of coal is better than no job at all."

Randall Craig suggests three key “job protection” strategies that are especially important during this season:

1. Exceed your goals. If someone is let go, it usually is the person who does not perform. Today, even the average worker might not be doing enough. Why give your manager a reason to show you the door? If you are not sure what your goals are, check your last annual review, and then double-check with your manager. Becoming indispensable to your boss - by helping them exceed their goals - is the second part of the equation.

2. Invest in yourself. Why not spend time improving the value of your package by attending a seminar, beginning a professional certification, or at the very least, reading a trade publication each month? This extra knowledge gives you a leg-up in your current job and gives you greater flexibility to take on different assignments.

3. Prepare for a search. Buff-up your resume and cover letters, read books on career planning, and begin the networking process. In case you are fired, these activities let you start at a run.

Says Craig: "The biggest stressor is not knowing what the future will hold. These three simple strategies are tremendously empowering - they give you control over your career. And if your company is doing well, the same strategies can earn you a promotion."

Randall Craig is Canada's foremost expert on career planning and work-life balance. He is the author of numerous books, including the popular Leaving the Mother Ship, The Working Resume, and the award-winning best-seller, Personal Balance Sheet Practical Career Planning Guide. For more information, please visit
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