Having been on both sides of the layoff table I can tell you with great confidence that few employment decisions are based strictly on contribution or goal attainment. Don’t get me wrong, making money for the firm is important, doing superior work is essential; however, there is that less tangible side, which often determines what column your name gets placed in. This article’s tips address some of those softer, less obvious issues.

Know your boss’ boss. It’s harder to lay off a face with a family, easier when they a merely a name on the org chart. Make sure you are known and liked. Hey, if he/she likes tennis, you can talk Federer and Williams, right?

Get positive press for the company. I am not referring to what corporate communications does, I mean lead a walkathon, serve Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, be elected to the board of a not for profit. Have your photo taken and be sure to mention the company you work for.

Always be positive about your employer. Whether on Linked.com, Facebook.com, or if you have a blog or participate in something like an alumni chat, always be positive. Everyone has access to your comments. Keep the positive public and any negative conversational only with people you can trust.

Post positive comments on your company’s website chat area.

Offer to speak to potential hires or new employees. Recruit on campus.

Dress up your work area with professional items. You can do this with art, appropriate photos, and desk accessories. Look very permanent. Never appear to be clearing things out.

Never use company email, copier, or fax for anything personal, ever. Can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve found in the copier over the years. Fax machines have phone records and everyone is monitoring your e-mail. Send everything from home, Staples, or the library, using personal contact information such as your private email address.

Travel around the building. Use different restrooms; eat in various places, think of reasons to walk from one area to another. Everyone knows the most accurate information is passed at the sinks and between cubicles.

Take long weekends rather than weeks of vacation. They might realize they can do without you if you’re gone too long.

Never discuss your financial situation, good or bad. You don’t want it to be a factor in the discussion. As far as everyone is concerned, you need the income (no trust fund kid) and you manage your money well (responsible adult).

Place your full name on everything—emails, reports, memos. People should know your last name. Don’t be “Josh in accounting” and get confused with “Josh in compliance.”

Be current on your company’s press. Set yourself up to get news flashes when anything about them comes across the wires or blogs. Never be surprised by news, in fact, keep those above you informed and looking smart.

I welcome your comments and additions to my list. I know you have many more ideas and experiences. Promise to share them with others.

(c) Jane Cranston.

Author's Bio: 

Jane Cranston is an executive career coach. She works with success-driven executives, managers and leaders to reach their potential, better manage their boss and staff, as well as develop a career strategy to reach goals and aspirations. Jane is the author of Great Job in Tough Times a step-by-step job search system. Click here to subscribe to her twice monthly Competitive Edge Report.