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Rumors Insecurity Layoffs Terminations Career Planning Communication

For the first time in my career, I am nervous about losing my job. The company has not replaced people who left during the past few months, and there are rumors all over the place. Do you have any suggestions for people in my situation?

Your nervousness comes from a fear of the unknown, so it is time to bring more knowns into your equation. Since your company may indeed be preparing to make some staffing reductions, you should be doing some preparing too.

The first step is be sure that you are performing at peak effectiveness and that management knows about your accomplishments. Take a careful look at your level of expertise and training, and consider taking steps right now to continue to build your skills, especially in the technological aspects of your work. If there are extra assignments, you should grab some of them as well.

In addition, by letting management see the measurable value that you add to the company through your expertise, productivity, and overall contribution, you lessen the likelihood of being added to the layoff list. At the same time, you should ask your manager about the company's near-term and longer-term staffing objectives. His or her response may give you some needed insight as to what is going on.

You can also reduce some of your nervousness by being prepared for any possible outcome, including a layoff. Start taking steps to develop your resume, your network, your marketability, and an overall strategy that you can follow. The more you control your career, the more you will control your nervousness.

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