Regularly I send emails to people on my case list to see how they are doing in their job search. A few days ago, I accidentally sent an email to everyone who was ever on my caseload—including those who reported having returned to work. I was surprised to hear back from several of them saying that they had again become unemployed. I was surprised—and distressed.
In asking why they are no longer employed, I found that although some of the people had been again laid off through no fault of their own (“last on, first off,” they say), one of the prevailing reasons I hear is that the job was unsuitable to them in the first place, and either the jobseeker or the employer decided to sever the relations.
So here are some tips, given by Alison Doyle on About.com, on how to make that job work.
Try and Make the Job Work. Is there anything you could be doing differently to make the job work? Could you ask for a transfer or a shift change? Is there anything that would make a difference and convince you to stay?
Work Hard. Most employers don’t mind a little time spent on Facebook or texting, but do focus on your job and give your employer the time you’re getting paid for. When it comes to making lay-off decisions, and the company has to choose, the most productive employees will get to keep the job.
Be On Time. The workers who are late to work, take a long lunch hour, use a ton of sick time, and/or leave early every day aren’t going to win any points with their boss. Be punctual and be there, instead of making excuses for why you can’t be at work.
Be a Team Player. The employees who don’t get along well with others, who gossip about other workers, or who aren’t willing to pitch in to help, aren’t going to be appreciated.
Be Flexible. Flexibility can be a key component of hanging on to your job. When the company needs someone to change shifts, work weekends, put in some overtime, or work a different schedule, think about volunteering if your personal schedule permits.
Don’t Complain. Nobody likes complainers, regardless of how legitimate the complaints are. If you don’t like your job, I can guarantee there are plenty of other people who would jump at the chance to get it. When the job market is as upside down in the employer’s favor as it is now, be really careful about complaining.
Offer to Help. One of the best ways to get (or keep) job security is to volunteer for new initiatives, to offer to help with projects, and to take on more responsibility.
Keep Your Thoughts to Yourself. Even if you hate your job, keep it to yourself and your family or close friends. Don’t tell the world, because the wrong person is probably going to see what you posted. That, in and of itself, can cost you your job.
Be Positive. Negativity is contagious, but so is a positive attitude. I have a Post-it not on my desk with a quote from Rosanne Cash which says: Cheerfulness is a choice. The more you stay positive, even if you’re in a tough situation, the better you’ll be able to manage.
Suck it Up. Maybe it’s not your favorite job. Maybe you’d rather be doing something else. However, it is a paycheck and if you need the income, it can make sense to stay until you secure a new position.
When All Else Fails. When keeping your job simply isn’t feasible, and it isn’t always, take the time to prepare to job search and plan your departure, so you’re not scrambling to find a job because you just got terminated.