Unfortunately for many, 2011 was not a banner year. Quite a few industries have experienced heavy layoffs and downsizing. As every prospectus says, evidence of past success is no guarantee for future success or performance. So what do we do?
First and foremost, check the vital signs of your company. Business runs in cycles and various industries tend to trend together. Currently, many financial service providers, real estate and construction oriented companies are fighting to stay ahead of the curve. No matter how excellent you may be as an employee, if your company is cutting staff your comfort zone will shrink. One way to protect yourself is to make yourself as invaluable to your company as possible. Do not wait for opportunity to knock. Research what and how your competitors are doing. You can be a hero either by increasing revenues and profits, or through cutting costs and increasing efficiencies in tough times. If you do either, you will show your employers that you are committed to improving the corporate bottom line. Make certain that your employer knows your efforts are showing positive results, as "name recognition" with your superiors can help you to weather any cutbacks at your organization.
Be alert to the vitality of both your industry and your company. Layoffs tend to occur within industries, rather than only at specific companies. Be proactive. As many job openings are never advertised (although why a hiring official would try to hire without posting on the Meetingjobs job board is beyond me), continual networking with friends and colleagues in your field may allow you a head start as opportunities present themselves.
Consider transitioning your skills to a new industry or sector of your present industry. Being adaptable can certainly pay dividends. If you are technically oriented you may be able to transfer your tech savvy from industry to another. If you are a meeting planner you may be able to move from the corporate world to the association/non-profit sphere. Or visa versa. New procedures and methods will have to be learned, but the more adaptable and fluid you are will only increase your chances of success in your present position as well as helping to make any transition as smooth and short-lived as possible.