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How to get fired

Denise Dubie | Sept. 8, 2009
IT professionals can do a lot to avoid layoffs, but they may be unwittingly doing even more to make themselves a target for downsizing.

FRAMINGHAM, 8 SEPTEMBER 2009 - IT professionals can do a lot to avoid layoffs, but they may be unwittingly doing even more to make themselves a target for downsizing.

No one can get too comfortable in their position right now. If you get complacent and have no intentions of improving upon yourself, you will lose your job to that person and there is always at least one who is constantly looking for ways to better himself and add more value to the business, says Colt Mercer, a network engineer at Citigroup in Dallas and a Network World Google Subnet blogger.

Here IT professionals and career experts point out five ways high-tech workers could earn themselves a spot in the unemployment ranks.

1. Be invisible

Now is not the time to go unnoticed.

Its not the time to shrivel and try to be invisible to management. Many people tend to default to hide-and-retreat mode when layoffs come up, but that could call more attention to you and make it appear you arent contributing enough to be kept around, says Adam Lawrence, vice president of service delivery at talent and outsourcing service provider Yoh.

Even those working hard could unknowingly be at risk due to their in-office time. Some IT workers who operate from a home office might need to make a few extra trips into work to remind managers, in person, of all that they do.

Being visible during downtime is a big deal. If you are always remote and people at the office dont see you as part of the team, that could cause problems, says Bryan Sullins, principal tech trainer at New Horizons in Hartford, Conn., and a Network World blogger covering Microsoft certifications and training. Often it can be a case of out of sight, out of mind, and remote workers could unwittingly become a target to be cut.

2. Let skills stagnate

There may be no training dollars, but that doesnt mean managers wont be considering IT pros lack of updated skills when making layoff decisions. Regardless of the current economic trouble, high-workers should always be looking for ways to advance their knowledge.

IT staffers that dont maintain their certifications and stay trained show poor strategic thinking and will very quickly find themselves behind the curve, says Chris Silva, senior analyst at Forrester Research. Turning a blind eye to new technology and thinking it can wait will wear thin in a down economy. Managers dont want staff that add to the cant do list in times like these.

And the employee who uses the excuse about lack of dollars wont make points when it comes to cutting staff.


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