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Recession Recommendations: Tactics for Keeping Your Job in Tough Times

February 2009 (SmartPros) During an economic downturn, it’s all the more important for accounting and finance professionals to take steps to increase their value and visibility at work.

While there’s no way to completely recession-proof your job, here are some proven ways to raise your profile:

Embrace change. Many organizations are currently re-evaluating their operations. Be adaptable if your firm’s strategies or priorities shift. When you’re asked to tackle challenging new assignments that fall outside the scope of your job description, for instance, demonstrate both flexibility and a can-do attitude. Simply put, when confronted with significant changes or a heavier workload, don’t waste time mourning the end of comfortable patterns and work habits. Instead, hunker down and find ways to absorb the additional duties without compromising the quality of your work.

Make your voice heard. Now is no time to be a wallflower. Enter every meeting armed with knowledge of the topics at hand and an eagerness to contribute. Being well-prepared and vocal during group discussions and brainstorming sessions will help you highlight your communication skills and strategic vision. Moreover, don’t be afraid to pitch bold ideas to management. Now more than ever, employers value innovative creative thinkers who are willing to offer smart outside-the-box solutions.

Don’t let your successes go unnoticed. Keep track of your most notable accomplishments and share them with your boss on occasion. Quantify your achievements by explaining how your efforts positively impacted the bottom line through cost-savings or increased efficiency. And remember: The most effective self-promoters tactfully convey their value by mentioning key contributions, but they don’t swamp their supervisors with a daily barrage of self-serving status updates.

Pitch in. Today’s unnerving economic climate is leading many employees to become hyper-competitive. Set yourself apart from this cutthroat crowd by building a reputation as a consummate team player. Consistently volunteering to assist colleagues when they need an extra hand shows that you understand the big picture and are willing to do whatever it takes to help your company succeed.

For more advice on management and career issues, listen to The Management Minute, Robert Half’s podcast series at

Accountemps is the world’s first and largest temporary staffing service specializing in the placement of accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The company has more than 360 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at


2009 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

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