Financial Literacy - Careers
5 ways to fireproof your job

Don't be Chicken Little

There are at least a half-dozen ways you can sabotage your career and one is to spread negativity. "There's always the person around the water cooler who can't stop talking about how terrible everything is and criticizing everything that management does," says Riviera Advisors' Dan Kilgore.

"When you're in the emergency ward and someone is running around with a can of salt and throwing it all over the place, that is not a popular person and not someone that people want to keep around," he says.

Conversely, being likable can go a long way. You don't have to skip into work Monday mornings whistling and carrying a basket of muffins, but avoid doom and gloom.

Instead, stay positive and upbeat -- at least until the sky really is falling.

Cut costs

Money is the lifeblood of any business, and employees are a costly asset. When other money-saving options are exhausted, layoffs are the answer to keep costs down.

"Sometimes you hear about rare companies that want to protect their assets -- their employees -- and they do unusual things to that end, but most of the time, companies, they don't really care about the employees. All they care about is what they're being forced to care about, and that is the bottom line," says Scott Kane, co-founder of Gray Hair Management, a career coaching and job-search networking company.

Therefore, sniffing out cost-cutting opportunities should be every employee's priority.

"People should never underestimate their individual role in identifying the cost-cutting measures for their employer. I have 1,000 workers here and if everyone saves just $100, we just saved two jobs, or one job, or five jobs, whatever we're looking at," says Eric Winegardner of

"It can be as simple as controlling office supplies or as complex as a process improvement that eliminates an entire vendor cost stream," he says.

Everyone should have the courage to speak up. Take a moment to go to the boss and talk about your money-saving ideas. You never know where it could get you.

Stay current in education, skills and training

Scott Vest, vice president of human resources at, recommends that workers try to gain as much leadership experience as possible plus as much education and training as they can get.

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