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Use a layoff to power up

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There’s a silver lining among all the dark clouds of this recession, says John Challenger, chief executive of the employment-consulting firm Challenger and Gray, and it’s this: Layoffs can be good news, in a strange way.

“A recession is like a forest fire that clears out a lot of old growth, laying seeds for new growth,” he tells Forbes. “That’s happening now.”

Being one of the few employees left at a struggling company can be a downer, but Challenger says a leaner team can be invigorating.

“When companies are downsizing, often the less successful people leave, making more room for top performers to assume roles that might have been unavailable to them before. Companies can only afford to have their best people working, if they’re to survive,” he says.

Bottom line: Show your star power. Take on projects that make you reach higher. Ask for more responsibility and prove that you’re indispensable.


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