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February 16, 2008

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All great tips. One thing my father in law did when he was working at AT&T back in the 80's was to always have some back-up projects. He would get called in for "the talk" and before his boss could tell him that the company was scaling back, my FIL would produce a business plan that was incredibly detailed on how to streamline operations. He had pro formas, cost/benefit analysis, and estimations of savings to the company. Twice, he averted being forced into early retirement. He eventually did retire in 92 but it was on HIS terms.

He told me two things about holding on to your job:
1. Always have a backup plan, whether it's with another company or within your own.
2. Never show all your cards. In other words, keep you backup plan to yourself until the most opportune time.

Good advice in my book!

Being willing to take a pay-cut should truly be a last ditch option. That would signal to me I should be looking for another job post haste. Of course, if you were interviewing at other companies several times over the course of the year, you'd have a game-plan already in place.

This may fall under #2 but, having had employees, its important to show you have "ownership" of what you do (i.e. you are not doing the absolute minimum required in the job description). No reasonable employer expects you to be perfect but if you should you are willing to make the responsibility yours and take the next steps, it goes a long way compared to a co-worker who may be technically more able but just "there" at work not not much else.

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