Posted by: thepersistentassistant | July 30, 2011

Working Smarter in a Down Economy

As printed in the 5.26.11 issue of The Woodstock Independent

Working Smarter in a Down Economy

Times are tough and we are all feeling the pinch in some way or another. There is definite belt-tightening going on at all levels, from corporate to consumer. As the economy continues to slow, businesses will consider several methods to reduce cost in sourcing, labor, marketing and advertising. Here are some areas that you can focus on to remain valuable to your employer, prove your worth and ultimately keep your job.

Come prepared to meetings with ideas about how to cut costs and increase revenue. Review what is really important to your company’s survival, rather than keep doing what you’ve always done.

Demonstrate that you can assist in guiding the business by sharing your insights on ways to enhance services/products, grasping the understanding of current market trends. Being valuable is more important than being important.

Remain visible at the right times and places. In a slow economy, demonstrating your value and being seen will assist those around you in recognizing your worth. If your work is unnoticed or you are not connected to an important project, it won’t matter if you are truly valuable. Make sure people understand what you do and how you add value to your organization.

Pitch in and pull together. Now is not the time to refuse an assignment. As the organization gets smaller, there’s still a significant amount of work to do. People who are willing to pitch in and stretch themselves are the ones who will be retained. Employees who have a very narrow skill set that seemed valuable in the beginning but can’t assist beyond their current role will likely be the first candidates to go.

In an economy like this, good people with good skills could end up out of work just as often as people who never added much value, therefore you should keep your skills up to date. Stay active in your networks. Remain efficient and effective in shifting from simply keeping busy, but actually achieving results. That’s working smarter.

Laura A. Witlox is the Communications Coordinator of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce and Proprietress of The Persistent Assistant and can be reached at


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