There are only three types of employees in the workplace today, and with unemployment on the rise, two of these groups are at high risk of losing their jobs. If you don't want to become one of the 27 million that are out of work, then you must get yourself into the third group.
Here are the three groups of employees:
1) Poor Performers -- performing below levels at which the cost to your employer does not out-weigh what you produce. This person is not in the game all the way, rarely considers creative solutions and performs just shy of what is expected of them. The company will also see unbecoming signs of tardiness, leaving early, low levels of production, and overall not interested in the survival of the company only slight interest in their job. High risk of losing job.
2) Average to Good Performers -- good, dependable, trust worthy employees that do their job, but that is all. This group incorrectly believes that they are doing what is required of them and incorrectly believes that they are not at risk. The reality is that when a company starts cost cutting, this group is considered because it is not clear that they produce more than they cost. This group is operating under beliefs that exist from another time (not so long ago) where those that did their job and got along with others were protected. Today, management can easily confuse this group with the first group when the next round of cuts come. At risk and does not know it.
3) Over-performers -- this group of employees produce at levels so far above others that the company will never let them go. They are unreasonable in the amount of action and creativity they use to produce real results. They don't talk about production they produce, they don't talk about problems they solve problems, and they drive revenue while others blame the economy for the lack of it. The revenue and relationships they have are clearly worth way more than their cost to the company, and the company cannot operate without their production. Only a management team that is psychotic will get rid of these people. This group is never at risk and even if they lost their job they would replace it in the same week.
The only way to protect your position and job today is to be in the third group of the over-performers that are unreasonable in their actions and why they get results. The other two groups are not just at risk but at high risk. The way a company measures and values an employee's value most easily is by how much revenue your position generates compared to the cost of that position. This is the single best indicator that you are of value to your company.
Doing your job, showing up on time, being a team player, being dependable and the likes are nice, but they don't pay the bills. If you don't want to become one of the 27 million unemployed, it is critical that you become seriously unreasonable in the efforts you take each day to contribute to the company and be labeled an over-performer.
Staying late, starting early, going the extra mile, doing other things than just those things required of you, and producing or assisting in the generation of revenue opportunities are all things that will protect you. Let your actions and results alone speak for you and be an indication that you are in the group of over-performers and you will not need to rely on office politics to insure your position in the workplace. Doing extra work at the job you have now is better than the extra work that will be required of you to find a new job.