How Not to Get Laid Off Part II

Having been on both sides of the layoff table I can tell you with great confidence that few employment decisions are based strictly on contribution or goal attainment. Don’t get me wrong, making money for the firm is important, doing superior work is essential; however, there is that less tangible side, which often determines what column your name gets placed in. This article’s tips address some of those softer, less obvious issues.

  1. Know your boss’ boss. It’s harder to lay off a face with a family, easier when they a merely a name on the org chart. Make sure you are known and liked. Hey, if he/she likes tennis, you can talk Federer and Williams, right?
  2. Get positive press for the company. I am not referring to what corporate communications does, I mean lead a walkathon, serve Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, be elected to the board of a not for profit. Have your photo taken and be sure to mention the company you work for.
  3. Always be positive about your employer. Whether on,, or if you have a blog or participate in something like an alumni chat, always be positive. Everyone has access to your comments. Keep the positive public and any negative conversational only with people you can trust.
  4. Post positive comments on your company’s website chat area.
  5. Offer to speak to potential hires or new employees. Recruit on campus.
  6. Dress up your work area with professional items. You can do this with art, appropriate photos, and desk accessories. Look very permanent. Never appear to be clearing things out.
  7. Never use company email, copier, or fax for anything personal, ever. Can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve found in the copier over the years. Fax machines have phone records and everyone is monitoring your e-mail. Send everything from home, Staples, or the library, using personal contact information such as your private email address.
  8. Travel around the building. Use different restrooms; eat in various places, think of reasons to walk from one area to another. Everyone knows the most accurate information is passed at the sinks and between cubicles.
  9. Take long weekends rather than weeks of vacation. They might realize they can do without you if you’re gone too long.
  10. Never discuss your financial situation, good or bad. You don’t want it to be a factor in the discussion. As far as everyone is concerned, you need the income (no trust fund kid) and you manage your money well (responsible adult).
  11. Place your full name on everything—emails, reports, memos. People should know your last name. Don’t be “Josh in accounting” and get confused with “Josh in compliance.”
  12. Be current on your company’s press. Set yourself up to get news flashes when anything about them comes across the wires or blogs. Never be surprised by news, in fact, keep those above you informed and looking smart.

I welcome your comments and additions to my list. I know you have many more ideas and experiences. Promise to share them with others.

I’ve experienced a recent surge in people wanting coaching because they are choosing to leave their present careers. Whether it is the law, the arts, family leave or finance, people are seeing the current job market as an opening rather than a deterrent. Because they are planning ahead, doing the necessary research, staying in their present positions and getting their resumes, cover letters, and business cards ready, they’re in the best place to jump at an opportunity. If you are considering making a career transition or not sure what you want to do, coaching can help you sort out the questions and maybe the ambivalence. Contact me for a free “Get Acquainted Appointment” either in person or on the telephone. Let’s discuss what happens in coaching and decide if we are a good match.

Jane Cranston is an executive coach, career coach and “The Job Search Expert” based in New York City. She shares with success driven executives and professionals techniques, skills and goal setting strategies that advance their careers, increase people management skills and assists them in career change or job search. Receive Jane’s free "Competitive Edge Report" and the free audio download “Creating a Career Strategy” by visiting

About the Author

Jane Cranston - Executive Coach NY (New York)Executive and career coach, “The Job Search Expert,” Jane Cranston understands the challenges and opportunities in the workplace. She integrates years of experience as an accomplished senior executive with global brand name companies, with the lessons learned from opening three successful businesses, and then applies her education and coach training. This sophisticated mix affords her clients her unique perspective, business sensibility, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Jane is the founder and Managing Director of ExecutiveCoachNY, an executive and career coaching business based in New York City with clients nationwide. She coaches success-driven executives and managers to develop a career strategy that accelerates advancement, increases compensation, enhances people-management skills as well as gets the competitive edge in all business activities.

Coaching with Jane is dynamic, structured, forward-focused as well as fun and inspirational. Working with clients in fields such as finance, technology, media and entertainment, real estate, and the law, she assists them in recognizing and achieving their full potential at work and in their personal lives.

Clients claim coaching with Jane has “changed my career focus,” “helped me better understand how to motivate my staff,” “given me ideas that have increased my income by $100,000s,” and “made me realize what is my part and what isn’t,” and claim coaching is “the best thing you could do for yourself.”

Jane’s soon to be published “Great Job Tough Times” is a step-by-step job search system designed to assist managers and executives looking for employment, or contemplating leaving their current positions, with their resume writing, interviewing skills, networking techniques, and negotiating need to get the right job fast.

Jane Cranston is frequently seen on CNN’s “Your Money” and quoted in nationally syndicated newspapers, magazines, as well as Internet article sites and virtual programs. She authors the free, twice monthly, “Competitive Edge Report.” Learn more on her website


Warranties, Disclaimers and Legal Rights | Earning Disclaimer | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

©, Jane Cranston. All rights reserved.