Even if you think the writing’s on the wall, there are still steps you can take to either save your job or give yourself a soft landing:
· Do not become so consumed with worry that your work suffers. It is important to maintain your focus. Continue to deliver high-quality work over and above expectations to remind your manager that you really are worth every cent you are paid (and more) and the company would be foolish to let you go.
· Make sure your manager knows about your contributions. There is no point in being a star performer if no one knows about it – now, more than ever before, you need to enhance your visibility on the job. Make sure your contributions are in line with the company’s business goals and talk with your manager about how you can contribute more.
· Enhance your value-add to the business. Actively seek out new business deals for your company, or volunteer to participate in new projects. Your enhanced revenue-yielding capability and profitability will boost your status as an asset that the company needs to retain.
· Try to stay positive. A negative attitude will only work against you – people prefer to be surrounded by cheerful, optimistic colleagues, even more so when times are tough.
If you’re still worried that there’s a real possibility that you will lose your job, it’s important to prepare yourself for re-entering the job market. Leaving the question of whether you choose to remain in the U.S. or move back to Japan aside (see our last Worldcareer column, “Should I stay or should I go?”, for help with that issue), here is a brief checklist of actions you can take right away:
· Update your resume. In good times, keeping an up-to-date resume is a good practice. In tough times, it’s a necessity.
· Network actively. Target professional organizations and support groups whose members can either help you find a new role or point you in the right direction.
· Look for ways to save money. In our first Worldcareer column (“What does the financial crisis mean to your job search?”) we pointed out that you might be in for a very long job search. Make sure you’re financially ready.
· Reinforce your bridges. Continue to act professionally and do a good job at work. Make sure those bridges stay in tact and are even stronger than before—in the event you lose your job, you’ll be remembered for grace and dignity and you may be asked to return when the economy turns around.
· Improve your marketability. Take classes or volunteer for activities that enhance your skills.
· Get reacquainted with Japan. Talk with friends and family in Japan, or speak with a recruiter you trust, to get a feel for the Japanese job market.