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'Recession-proof' your career

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In the current recession, it's easy to speculate about doom-and-gloom scenarios at work. No one knows what the future holds, but it's a good idea to make yourself as indispensable as possible. Consider the following tips:

Become an MVP. During challenging times, firms value employees who can help improve the bottom line. Consider all of the functions in your department and determine which are most critical to the company's goals. These are the areas where you can contribute the most.

Shine a light on your accomplishments. Make sure those above you know the value you bring to the firm. One of the best ways to do so is to provide your manager with a weekly project update. If you already prepare this document, make sure you fully explain your contributions.

Don't be a wallflower. Visibility is key, and there are several simple ways to build it. For example, when attending meetings, speak up and contribute to the discussion. It's also wise to network within your company by getting to know those in other departments through interdepartmental luncheons and activities. The relationships you build can prove useful when you seek advice or support.

Step up to the plate. Employees who show initiative are always in demand. If a teammate is struggling to meet a deadline, offer to help. Likewise, if no one is racing to represent your group at a strategy meeting, volunteer to attend. Be willing to take on responsibilities outside of your usual job description. You'll help your team and strengthen your own abilities.

Be a cool cat. Don't let yourself become distracted by what might or might not happen. Focus instead on what you can control: producing high-quality work. In uncertain times, you'll be an asset to your team and manager by demonstrating a calm demeanor and completing each project to the best of your abilities.

Robert Half Legal is a premier provider of experienced project and full-time professionals for law offices and corporate legal departments.

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