How to avoid the pink slip


Want to hang onto your job in this recession? Changing Times, February, runs a good story on that topic, suggesting you take several steps to make yourself too valuable to let go. The story says that even if your job isn't threatened, polishing your career act can mean promotions and pay raises later and, if you end up clutching a pink slip, you'll have an edge in finding a new job.

Excerpts from the article: (1) Develop your contacts. "This is the most effective thing you can do to beat a layoff; 70-80 percent of job openings are filled through networking." (2) Know your company's business. "Learn its history, achievements, failures and goals. You want to maneuver yourself into a department that's a hotbed of promotions." (3) Think and act positively. "Say you like the new phone system instead of grumbling about it." (4) Keep your resume up to date. "You might have to argue your own case. Don't just list your occupations; show how you've made a difference to the organization." (5) Learn to speak and write better. "You can build an airtight case for keeping your job, but it won't do any good if you can't present it to the boss coolly and cogently." (6) Go back to school briefly. "Enrolling in short, intense seminars that bring you up to speed on challenges your company faces increases your value to the firm." Phone 518-891-1500 for specific data on seminars.

WORKPLACE WISDOM: George Washington, whose birthday we mark this week, is reputed to have said, "I cannot tell a lie." Here are other quotations, mostly referring to the workplace: "What managers decide to stop doing is often more important than what they decide to do." (Peter Drucker). . . "If the receptionist isn't pleasant, if people look like they're dragging their feet, you know the company isn't going to make it." (Kirsten Olsen). . . "Every successful enterprise requires three people -- a dreamer, a businessman and a son of a bitch." (Peter McArthur, 1904) . . "The worst crime against working people is a company that fails to make a profit." (Samuel Gompers).

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL: Looking for a job? These job-hunting expenses are deductible, subject to the "2 percent of adjustable gross income" limit: cost of preparing resumes and job-seeking letters, employment agency fees, newspapers and employment trade magazines you buy for employment ads, transportation costs, telephone calls, 80 percent of meals and entertainment connected to your job search, related out-of-town expenses, etc. Note: for 1991 there will be a further reduction of itemized deductions for high-income taxpayers. See your accountant. (Above data from Tax Hotline, Jan.)

MARYLAND MEMOS: "It's only for the last 500 years that we have thought of the earth as global. Until the voyage of Columbus, nearly everyone was sure the earth was flat. . . "By forgetting 'flat' and thinking 'round,' we can become the even greater company we all want to be tomorrow." (Buzz McCormick, Chairman and CEO, McCormick & Co. in Buzzwords column in the firm's winter house organ, recently named McCormick People.). . . Previous McCormick house organ names: Bee Lines, The Clipper, McNews, McFamily News, Tea Time Tales, People. . . "If Maryland's deficit is brought under control, disability cuts (denying benefits to 6,200 people with disabilities) may be restored in 1992. But with the economy hurting, this doesn't appear likely." (Business Week, dated today). . . "Shift workers are the premier workers in any utility." (Tom Wellener, vp, BG&E;, in VIP house organ, Feb.).

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