Tips for Keeping Your Job in a Recession

Every day, it seems as if the news is filled with reports of layoffs and job cuts at more and more companies. If you’re concerned about the safety of your own position, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) offers the following steps you can take to recession-proof your situation:

Be a Standout
A recession is a good time to increase your visibility and highlight your good side to your employer. Aim for excellence in everything you do. Develop a reputation for reliability, cooperation, timeliness and any other positive attributes you believe your boss values most. Even if you were doing a great job before, try to work even harder to prove just how indispensable you are.


Go Beyond the Basics
If you’ve been keeping strict 9-to-5 hours, it may be time to consider a change in habits. Getting in early and staying late can impress your boss and demonstrate your job commitment. If your boss asks for volunteers for a new project, make sure your name is on the list. Maintain a realistically cheerful attitude that has a positive influence on your co-workers. Whenever possible, go the extra mile so that your boss sees you as someone who can be counted on at all times.

Highlight Your High Points
Don’t be shy about your accomplishments. In fact, create a list of your achievements containing specific details about the contributions you’ve made. For example, if you’re directly involved in sales or budgeting, note how much revenue you’ve brought in or how much money you’ve saved the company. If you’re in an administrative job, perhaps your ideas for changing work flow in your department has decreased the time needed to complete projects. No matter what your situation, be aware of all the good work you have done — and be ready to discuss it. When these subjects arise, don’t hesitate to remind your boss about the contributions you’ve made. If you believe your company is on the verge of layoffs, consider meeting with your boss to detail the positive benefits you’ve brought and what you believe you can add in the future.

Consider a Pay Cut
Many companies are offering employees pay cuts or unpaid furloughs as a way to avoid layoffs. Taking home less money for the same job doesn’t sound like a good deal, but it just may be right now. That’s because employment can be hard to find in a recession, and you will be losing out on your entire salary during the weeks — and perhaps months — that it may take you to find a new position. That’s why a pay cut or furlough may be a good compromise for both you and your company. In fact, if you are subject to a layoff, offer to work for reduced pay instead. Companies are usually very reluctant to lay off good workers, but may feel they have no other choice — unless you give them one.

For more information on various personal financial matters, visit the NJSCPA’s public service website at While visiting, you can subscribe to Your Money Matters, the NJSCPA’s free, monthly email newsletter to receive valuable personal financial planning advice throughout the year.

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