Seems like the recession is bottoming out and the economy seems to be turning a bit. Good news, yet I still have friends who are employed, but worried that their company's struggles may mean they'll be let go before the recovery is in full force.
My advice to them is always the same. Don't be a victim. Don't be a turtle and retract into your shell until the danger has passed. Be proactive, add value others can't, and find the elusive sweet spot in communicating the fact that you're different. Over communicate it, and you appear needy. Under communicate it, and you don't market the good stuff you're bringing to the table that others aren't.
Tim Sanders frames it in similar terms, but adds good advice by saying that the best way to lose your job is to be emotionally unattractive. From Sanders Says:
"Don't be emotionally unattractive. That's right, be part of the solution (recovery) instead of identifying with the problem (recession). If you think that layoffs are corporate roulette, where anyone can get whacked -- you are dead wrong. Layoffs are done by emotional people, not computers. They are often like a prison riot on steroids: All debts get settled.When you whine, wring your hands and commiserate about how bad things are, you are raising your hand as if to say, "pick me for the next big layoff!"Believe it or not, the #1 factor influencing layoffs is your attitude/vibe/outlook. There is not, as of yet, good behavioral data on this round of layoffs, but the last recession offers some great insight. In 2003, outplacement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas surveyed companies that underwent massive reductions in force. Based on feedback from managers and executives, the study concluded that "people that are not liked by someone in authority are always the first to go when business conditions become unfavorable. It's not enough to do a good job. You have to find ways to incorporate your likability factors in the eyes of your employer."