Avoiding The Axe: 10 Things Employers Love To See In Their Employees

by Ron Haynes

There is no such thing as a recession proof job.

With the incredible amount of unemployed people vying for a position and thousands more continuing to lose their jobs on a weekly basis, it makes no sense to view your job as a lock. Your employer certainly doesn’t. He or she has a vast reservoir of talent to choose from.


Books about “recession proofing” your job are flying off the shelves while the REAL unemployment rate is in the double digits. Those numbers include people who have just given up or who aren’t working full time when they wish to. Unemployment among teenagers, those without high school diplomas, and minorities are even higher.

Understanding what your employer wants is critical and though each employment situation is unique, there is a definite benefit to knowing how to hang on to your job. What is your employer looking for? Here’s a general list of what employers look for in candidates that are applying for positions at your company and what they want to see in you.

What employers want:

  • A record of achievements that match well with your employer’s greatest wants and needs. Nothing trumps having successfully “been there, done that,” so long as it’s relevant to what your employer wants.
  • Intelligence, business savvy, and a willingness to learn.
  • Honesty, integrity, and decency.
  • A team player who meshes well with the company’s team and can integrate with the company’s culture.
  • Likability, a positive attitude, and maybe a sense of humor. Be careful here, the wrong humor can get you in trouble.
  • Excellent communication skills whether speaking, writing, talking on the phone, or using email.
  • Dedication, flexibility, and a willingness to go the extra mile to achieve excellence.
  • A goal setter with a clear sense of purpose.
  • A high level of motivation and the enthusiasm to back it up.
  • Confidence and leadership with an air of equanimity.

There are no guarantees. And while there may not be any such thing as a recession proof job, by knowing what your employer wants, you might be able to save your job … or more easily find another one.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1001 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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when congress changed hands in 2006 we watched unemployment steadily rise. it has fallen according to our overlords, but many people are not working as much as they want or in the field they want or for the salary they want. unemployment numbers are rigged to fool the masses.

Credit Girl

I know exactly what you mean. Those who still have jobs in this recession are practically holding onto it for dear life. In regards to leadership and confidence, it is best to speak out if you have something good to say that will help improve the company.

The Rat

Having a lot of these traits certainly makes yourself fairly recession proof doesn’t it? A good employer will recognize good employees who have these traits and will likely be able to ride out a bad recession.
Nice thread.


In today’s environment I’ve found that being a team player and also being dedicated and loyal to the company plays a big part in helping to ensure that your job is recession proof. Employees who exhibit a willingness to stick with the company during the rough times even though some cutbacks have to be made are in most cases rewarded in the end. This may apply more to smaller companies rather than larger corporations who downsize to keep ahead of the game.

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