How to Protect Your Job in a Recession

by Janet Banks and Diane Coutu

IN A TROUBLED ECONOMY, job eliminations and hiring freezes seem almost routine, but when your own company’s woes start to make headlines, it all hits home. Intellectually, you understand that downsizing isn’t personal; it’s just a law of commerce, but your heart sinks at the prospect of losing your position. While you know that passivity is a mistake, it’s hard to be proactive when your boss’s door is always closed, new projects are put on hold, and your direct reports look to you for reassurance. Don’t panic. Even though layoff decisions may be beyond your control, there’s plenty you can do.

That’s what we’ve observed in numerous layoffs over the years and in research on how ...

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