Despite talk of an economic recovery on the horizon, countless lost jobs won't be replaced and IT organizations are still weighing layoffs as a way to cut operations budgets.
Recent survey data from Forrester Research shows more than 60% of IT managers expect to cut staff this year.
"Right now, even the boss is worried about his position," says Adam Lawrence, vice president of service delivery at talent and outsourcing service provider Yoh. "They are looking for staff accomplishments to take to their managers to justify the existence of remaining team members."
Here IT professionals and industry experts share 10 tips that could help tech workers stay in their employers' good graces and avoid being laid off, even as the economy begins its gradual recovery.
1. Dig in
IT workers in precarious employment positions need to take on extra work, log more hours and essentially show their employers they want to be there, experts say. With budgets remaining flat or down, IT managers are being asked to assess staff for reductions or potential outsourcing options. You don't want to be the employee who comes up short during such assessments.
"One key thing to remember is that when IT organisations are doing layoffs, they aren't looking for people to get rid of, they are determining which people to keep," says Beth Carvin, CEO of Nobscot, a maker of HR-related software based in Hawaii. "Take initiative and do things that would make the company want to keep an employee like you."
For instance, if your company is looking into expanding its wireless network, study up on the technology and offer that self-training as a resource. Or understand what skills might be missing from the team and try to fill the gap – without being asked.
"When I first started, I found there was a shortage of server load-balancing expertise," says Colt Mercer, a network engineer at Citigroup. "I spent my entire first week studying server load balancing and when an issue came up, I was able to show my worth."