Fire Proof Yourself: How to be a survivor and not a layoff statistic
By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional)

The U.S. job losses accelerated the last two months, pushing the unemployment rate to 14-year highs in October, a government report showed, suggesting the economic downturn has taken a turn for the worse toward a deep recession. You need to Fire Proof yourself! Don’t become a Toxic Person or use difficult behavior in the workplace. Just look at the facts. You are probably asking yourself, “Am I next?” Here are the ten ways on how to “Fire Proof” yourself.

1. Never Gossip. Ever. You never know who’s listening and how they will change your message to make themselves look good. If you think the grapevine is your main source of information and gossiping keeps you in the know, learn to ask questions and be a better communicator.

2. Don’t waste the company’s money by taking personal calls, surfing the Internet, playing games or anything else. Keep doing this and you will have plenty of time because you will not be employed. It is stealing and they will notice.

3. Don’t even think of dating at work. In good times, companies overlook this behavior but in bad times, it can be looked at as a liability. You don’t need a demerit when top brass is reviewing who stays and who goes.

4. Build good relationships with everyone, even people you don’t particularly like. They don’t have to be your “friend” but should always be considered as part of your support team.

5. Take ownership of your job and never point the finger at others. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Don't try to sweep your mistakes under the carpet because the truth will usually come back to bite you on the bottom line. Build trust when you can. This is a “attaboy” or “attagirl” on your side!

6. Create the best work product you can without loosing sight of other projects. Be a results oriented, deadline oriented machine. Constantly ask yourself, “Is this the best use of my time right now” to keep your self-focused on the important.

7. Don't complain and be careful with the problems and issues you uncover. Are they really critical to the growth of the business. Yes they do want solutions for problems, but even bringing up too many issues can be a problem.

8. Just be happy to have a job. If you ever say to yourself, “I hate my job,” learn how to position yourself to find another one. Don’t even tell your best friend you hate your job because this language will change your day-to-day performance and habits. (Want more information on this topic? Check the articles at or check out the blog at

9. Take a pay cut or freeze gracefully. Even better, offer to take a salary cut, if you know that the company is in trouble. Remember they are trying to keep the company afloat (or for his new car purchase) so just smile and say "I know that it’s all for the good of the company. Let me know how I can help."

10. Stay positive and forward thinking. You don’t have to become a Paul or Pollyanna, but you do have to stay away from the mental terrorism that can result from tough times. Stay pleasant, gracious and optimistic.

WARNING: Don't be fooled by anyone asking you "How Are Things?" or "What's wrong." Always respond with "Fantastic" and never let your guard down. Learn that you must take personal responsibility and Fire Proof yourself against the burning problems faced in today’s economy.
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As a professional speaker and best selling author, Marsha Petrie Sue is the Mohammed Ali of communicators. She can dance and look pretty, and she uses the entire ring, but she knows how and when to land a knockout punch. Get the smelling salts! Her presentations are charm school with live ammunition. Her #1 best seller Toxic People: dealing with difficult people in the workplace without using weapons or duct tape has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Cosmo, Investors Business Digest, Christian Science Monitor, Legal Management, WorkWise, Reuters and more.

Author's Bio: 

Marsha Petrie Sue is the Muhammad Ali of personal development, leadership, communications and managing change. She can dance and look pretty and she uses the entire ring, but she knows how and when to land a knockout punch.

Think of her presentations as charm school with live ammunition. She challenges every morsel of your beliefs while entertaining and enlightening.

She dares people to take personal responsibility for their choices, success, and life. Marsha is original, unique, and a one-of-a-kind professional speaker and author. Whether dealing with employee relationships, increasing productivity or pumping up sales, her guiding principles bring energy and fun to any meeting or event.

Her clients include small and large corporations, associations, healthcare institutions, and multi level marketing companies. As a former corporate executive of Fortune 100 companies, Marsha understands what it takes to improve productivity and profits.

Her latest book Toxic People: decontaminating difficult people at work without using weapons or duct tape, is a #1 Best Seller on Barnes & Noble, CEO Read and Bookscan. She is also the author of several other resources including the award winning CEO of YOU: Leading YOURSELF to Success.