Oh, happy job hunter, your search has ended! Your tenacity, ingenuity, professionally written resume and cover letter, and savvy interviewing techniques have paid off. After what seemed an interminable search, and despite stiff competition, you have landed the job and are about to let your breath out. Our advice is: “Don’t!”
Don’t take for granted that the position you’ve secured will be safe from future and even deeper economic downturns than the ones with which we’ve been plagued since September 2008. As the last to be hired, you could very well be the first to be terminated. To hedge your bets, continue with the strategies that proved successful in locating your new position.
1. Update your resume to reflect your current position, including new skills and/or accomplishments-to-date.
2. Do your research to determine which industries and companies are currently hiring or have announced plans to do so (and are therefore already compiling resumes and pre-selecting candidates).
3. Post your resumes online, on industry-niche boards, company websites, and social networking sites as well as the more obvious mega general job boards.
4. Keep networking with fellow alumni and members of industry associations as well as anyone who actively participates in the same charitable, community, or special interest organizations as you do.
Back at the office, demonstrate to management why, if worse comes to worse, the axe should not fall upon your neck. You may balk at some of these suggestions, but it’s better to cringe than to be laid off again. More to the point, it’s better to grin and bear it.
1. Eat lunch at your desk; if at possible, pack it at home. A homemade lunch shows good time management skills, resourcefulness, and thriftiness. Even if you don’t work (produce) during lunch, you can peruse manuals or an intranet to learn more about the company and its systems. Informed and armed, you will be less of a target than another new hire who frolics at lunch. You don’t have to do this each and every day; use your discretion.
2. Spring for coffee for your manager and co-workers every now and then. Learn how each person likes their coffee (you would be surprised how far this small, thoughtful detail goes in the office). You don’t need to be a “brown nose” about it; do it simply because it’s a courteous thing to do. Take every opportunity to appear to be the team member that you are.
3. If a co-worker’s child is peddling something to benefit his or her school, buy it, even though you may have no need for it. A good team player would.
4. Offer to take on more responsibility, if you honestly feel that you can handle it. A night or two of overtime per week over the course of a few weeks or months is not going to kill you. Your boss will remember how you went to the wire for the department and the company.
5. If you offer your employer a new idea that you feel may improve efficiency or cost-effectiveness, follow up face-to-face conversations immediately with emails to your boss. Print these out and save them to support any claims you need to make in the future as to your proactive attitude and problem solving skills.