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May 4, 2008
By Matt Reeder

So, you’re one of the lucky ones. Name on your office door. Extra-glossy business cards. A bit of seniority.
Think again.

While recent MBA grads prowling for work face the unenviable task of breaking into the financial ranks for the first time (gasp!), the barrage of layoffs that’s spread into the upper ranks of the industry in recent months shows that title-toting execs face a formidable challenge of their own – protecting their hides. The recession’s official, more jobs will be cut and there’s no reason to assume your’s won’t be one of them.

With such rosy thoughts in mind, the folks over at BusinessWeek put together a helpful video detailing some of the practical steps you can take to protect your job. One suggestion, courtesy of executive coach Meredith Haberfeld, is to throw conventional wisdom out the window.

Keeping a low profile during tough times, she says, does nothing to secure your future. Work your tail off, she insists. But make your successes and results visible. Not empty results. She also suggests you find ways to show you care about the company’s bottom line, not just your own.

Elsewhere, the Harvard Business Review offers slightly less selfless advice. Machiavellian as it may seem, holding on to your job when the economy softens is a matter of cool strategic planning, write Janet Banks and Diane Coutu. And in addition to thinking like a survivor, they, too, encourage old-fashioned hard work. If you’re not already wearing multiple hats, start imagining how you can support your company by leveraging experience your boss may know nothing about.