During times like these, most executives tend to worry if the axe will be falling near their neck. So what do they do? They power down, think small, take no risks and ensure that they don't appear in anyone's crosshairs.
Unfortunately, this not only does nothing (if they choose, they're going to fire you anyway), it can actually hurt your career.
Why might you be next to be laid off in this economy . . . let's look at the facts:
- You make too much.
- You make too little.
- You're working on a low-level or non-strategic project.
- You're working on a high-level, very strategic project.
- You've worked much too long at that company.
- You are the last one hired, first fired.
- You're boss doesn't like your face.
What am I really saying here? Firing is capricious. It can happen for a number of reasons and most (if not all) of them have nothing to do with your performance. The reality is: 99 times out of 100, mass firings are due to bad planning by management, not by you. And they have to move fast, cut deep, and recover quickly to SAVE THEIR OWN NECKS. Or they will see the axe coming around the conference table for them.
SO . . . what am I REALLY saying here? In times like these, it is in your best interest to STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Don't hide.
For example . . . Take a little risk:
- Speak up at meetings. Let people know your point of view.
- Have strategic lunches — meet with key executives inside and outside of your company.
- Ask for more work — but choose carefully — get on that key project.
- Make it a point of bumping into higher-ups and building relationships with them.
In times like these, companies have NO IDEA what to do. They're juggling all the balls in the air and NO ONE wants to catch one. They just keep juggling and praying they don't drop one.
Smart executives that are go-getters take advantage of this craziness and grab one of those balls. So . . . time to grab some balls.