05/18/2013 08:49 am ET

Dr. Phil's Career Advice For Avoiding Layoffs: 'You Have Got To Be Essential' (VIDEO)

Corporate layoffs -- they're difficult, daunting and oftentimes a complete surprise to employees. Even though you may not be able to predict if your company is considering laying off staff, Dr. Phil McGraw, author of the new book "Life Code," says that you can protect yourself from being laid off by doing one important thing: making yourself essential.

In part two of Dr. Phil's appearance on "Oprah's Lifeclass," the psychologist and talk show host focuses on how you can -- and should -- be the star in your own life, and this includes starring in your career. Are you essential at work or are you at risk of being laid off? Dr. Phil has a simple way to tell.

"If everything in your life -- ... every task you undertake, every job, career, whatever it is -- if it could all sail on and make no difference whether you were there or not, then you are not essential," Dr. Phil explains. "You have got to be essential."

Not being essential, Dr. Phil says, means you can get swept away with layoffs if your company downsizes. "When they come around thinning the herd, you don't want to be a face in the crowd," he says.

Instead, Dr. Phil advises that you make yourself essential in both large ways and small. He says, "It's like, 'Oh, just get rid of these 50 over here -- but not her. Wait a minute. She's the one that knows how to get the copier working when it doesn't work. She's the one that this client relies on for one of our really big relationships ... Get rid of those 49, but do not get rid of her. She is essential.'"

Dr. Phil talks more about spotting obstacles and using the right tools to get what you want on "Oprah's Lifeclass," airing Sunday, May 19, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.



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