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More pink slips are on the horizon. According to outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas, 1 million more job cuts are likely in 2009.

But, there's a silver lining among all the dark clouds of this recession, says the firm's chief executive, John Challenger, and it's this: Layoffs can be good news, in a strange way.

“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.

Reinforce your current business skills and develop your expertise in ways that will help you not just survive — but thrive — in today's job market. The four-volume Mastering Series gives you the comprehensive business skills you need to stay employed in 2009 and lay the groundwork for a future salary increase. Take 30% off the Mastering Series through April 2009

Don't sit in a corner waiting for the ax to fall on your position. Use the following 4 tips to recession-proof your job.

1. Master Office Politics: Spend an evening charting your organization's structure, X'ing out the people who've left, circling those who've moved, drawing arrows to the places they've landed. Analyze who's been promoted and identify their friends and allies. You'll find the patterns and soon you'll be on the rise too — a card here, a cup of coffee there, a quiet word to someone in a high position. Secure your job advancement and security with a thorough working knowledge of your company's political structure.

2. Master Business Finance: Employment experts and business surveys say executives want professionals to be able to assess their projects' financial viability. Calculate a proposed project's financial impact on revenue, profits, productivity and customer relationships. Figure out the amount of upfront investment and keep it minimal. Be able to figure out a project's impact on market share, product quality, the time it takes to develop a product or service, product flaws and rejection rates and customer satisfaction and service.

3. Master Business Etiquette & Protocol: All working relationships have unwritten rules that everyone is expected to follow, even though no one specifically describes them. By conveying warmth and confidence in quick encounters with your employees, colleagues and clients, you gain their trust. But, if you misread conversational cues, you might drive away allies and earn a reputation as socially awkward. Stay attuned to your company's management etiquette. Present yourself as in step with the management team and avoid any breach of their etiquette protocol.

4. Master Business Negotiation: As layoffs at your company increase, pick up extra work to mitigate the void in workers. Try to reach up for projects that help you climb the corporate ladder and choose tasks with a high-visibility impact on the bottom line. Then, keep a record of the extra work you've taken on. Rather than demand a raise or additional benefits now, plan ahead. Propose that you earn certain perks over the next six to 12 months. Work with your boss to set production goals and agree that if you exceed those targets, you'll accrue certain rewards. With savvy business negotiating skills, you could advance your career during layoffs and negotiate a higher salary later down the road.

If you're tossing and turning at night with job worries, you're not alone. Thirty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released last month said "unemployment is the most important economic issue facing the country today." That's almost three times the amount who felt the same way last April.

The only investment that pays off forever is an investment in yourself. Turn hard times into an opportunity to sharpen your skills with the insights and strategies found only in the four-volume Mastering Business series, which includes:
  • Mastering Office Politics
  • Mastering Business Finance
  • Mastering Business Etiquette & Protocol
  • Mastering Business Negotiation
Order now and receive 30% off the entire series — plus a free gift that showcases your new business skills!
the Mastering Business series...

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