How to layoff-proof your job

Check out this article/video: How to layoff-proof your job

Here’s my answer: no matter what anyone tells you, YOU CANNOT LAYOFF PROOF YOUR JOB.

You simply can’t. It’s out of your control.

I have traveled around the U.S. talking to groups of unemployed people.  Thousands of them. I am always amazed at their skills, abilities and accomplishments. And for some reason, they ended up in a job club, unemployed, and sometimes losing hope.

They didn’t lose their job because they weren’t smart, or even wise.  Many lost their job because of things like the economy.  How do you layoff proof the economy? You can’t.

Some lost their jobs because they had managers or leaders who were frankly unqualified to be there, and made bad choices.  Territorialism. Jealousy. Incompetence. Fear. Not all managers deserve to be where they are.  Have you ever heard of a bad manager?  You can’t layoff-proof yourself if your manager/boss/CEO falls into this category.

Ever heard of Enron?  It was a massive company.  You know who got laid off from Enron at the end? EVERYONE. Everyone who had a personal brand, and a network.  Everyone who did their job right. Every single employee of the month, and employee of the year.  Even the rainmakers, who brought in millions and billions of revenue, got laid-off.  EVERYONE.

I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade.  In that article they say you should do things like work on the big projects, or cross-train and learn other jobs, or bring in money, or save money, or other stuff. I think those are all great things to do for you career… they can help you have “career security,” or what I call “income security.”  But job security? No.  You can do things to maybe help you stay around a bit longer, but in today’s economy, no one expects you to stay at a job for decades.  It’s expected you won’t.

That means that it is OUR responsibility to manage our careers. Jobs will come and go. Our new security will be in who we know, who knows us, what they know about us, in addition to all the old stuff (can we do the job, are we great at it, etc.).

Here’s to the tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of people who will get laid off this month.  Just another December of right-sizing.