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Who will be cut in your company’s next layoff?

Being downsized is frustrating for anyone at any ageA 2012 Gallup study says that 70 percent of American workers are not reaching their full potential causing the U.S. to lose $450 to $550 billion (with a “b”) each year in lost productivity.

If you are in the 70 percent, you are working for a company not reaching its profit potential. This company will very likely look at downsizing or layoffs to lower expenses and therefore enhance profit. And when this happens, they will look at the 70 percent of their workers who are not reaching their full potential to cut.

So what can you do about this to enhance your position and move into the top 30 percent?  Here are a few steps to follow that will help you stand out in a positive way:

  • Understand your strengths and/or talents. If you need to, get professional input to be sure you know exactly what they are. Talk to your boss about them to be sure he/she knows.
  • Work with your boss so that he/she knows your strengths and/or talents and gives you responsibilities that allows you to do your best work.
  • Continue to learn more about your company and what it is trying to accomplish so you can add your part.
  • Also, continue to learn more about your job and your strengths and talents so you can do even better work.
  • Network well within your profession to enable yourself to be aware of the latest thinking and technology in your field.
  • Keep yourself in good physical shape for you to maximize the potential to have the energy to do your best.
  • Support what your company is trying to do at all times, be committed to its goals and communicate them to others.
  • Commit yourself to an unrelenting quest to make yourself better at what you do.

If you do these things you make yourself better at what you do and therefore better at contributing to the company’s success. And, you will own yourself and your future.

But if you are stuck, or your immediate boss does not want to help, or sees you as a threat, keep on doing the things that will make you better anyway. This may not guard you from being downsized or laid off, but it does guarantee you will be better at what you do for your next position whether at your current company, another one, or your own.

Note: The Gallup study is entitled “State of The American WorkPlace; Employee Engagement Insights For U.S. Business Leaders.”