As we hear news that Wall Street will lay off 80,000 workers in the next 18 months, and that jobless rates hover around 9.7%, many of us go into panic mode.

There is hope - and there are three areas of focus that can help us become more valuable no matter what the circumstances.

  1. Develop yourself.
  2. Build relationships with others.
  3. Reduce stress and increase ease.

Developing ourselves can be as simple as taking two hours a week to read something relevant to our business, or as big as taking part in an executive education intensive program for a month. Reach out to your development resources - Organization Development, HR, Leadership Development - and find out what is available. Your proactivity will pay off! It not only gets you valuable development opportunities, it builds your resume and demonstrates your commitment to bettering yourself.

Building relationships can’t happen when you’re fearful and questioning yourself. Relax and have some fun. Find people you enjoy working with and take the time to appreciate them. Gallup research shows that those people who have close friends at work have higher levels of engagement and stay in their roles longer.

Finally, reducing stress and increasing ease is your most important task.  In order to remain a valuable asset to your organization, stop stress and fear in their tracks, because that panic mode is the #1 saboteur of great performance, and of relationships with others.  When in doubt - breathe! A series of deep breaths is all it takes to activate your relaxation response.

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