What to Do If Someone Is Gunning for Your Job

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — It’s hard enough just to land a job in this labor market, but keeping one can prove difficult too, particularly when your position is coveted by others inside and outside the office.

In virtually every workplace, employees are likely to feel threatened from time to time by new hires or old hands who may seem a little too eager to show how well they could do your job. That’s nothing new, but several career experts we spoke with suggested that the number of workers with an eye on your job may be greater now since so many are underpaid, underemployed or stuck working lower-tier jobs just for a paycheck.

“Whether you perceive a direct threat or not, people are gunning for your job,” says Charles Purdy, a career expert with Monster.com. “In fact, the reality is there are probably lots of people who want your job because there are lots of unemployed people who want everyone’s job.”

If you don’t feel a little threatened in your job now, chances are you’re just not paying enough attention.

In some cases, the person pining for your job may be the ambitious go-getter who sits one desk over from you, while in other cases the person may be an unknown job hunter networking and applying for positions just like yours. Regardless of the situation, the fact that any decent full-time job is in high demand means you should take a few key steps to ensure that you’re not suddenly replaced one day.

Self-Promote Your Accomplishments

In an ideal world, all an employee would have to do to succeed is work hard and the management would come to recognize that person’s contribution to the company, but this won’t be enough for anyone who works at a midsize or large business where even noteworthy successes can slip through the cracks.

“The mistake a lot of people make in their careers is assuming their good work is always noticed, but you usually need to do some self-promotion to get your work noticed,” Purdy says.

Promoting your work can be done in different ways depending on what you’re comfortable with and the culture of your company. For some, Purdy says it might mean sending out a weekly e-mail update to your manager noting the projects you worked on, and for others it might mean scheduling time with your boss or even your boss’s boss on a monthly basis to check in, ask for advice and get feedback. Even just being a bit more verbal about your day-to-day projects and accomplishments when chatting with co-workers around the office can also help.

As uncomfortable as it may be for some to boast about themselves, taking the time to promote your value to the company will make it that much harder for another employee to make a compelling case for why they should replace you.