Surviving layoffs may mean new job responsibilities

Congratulations--you dodged layoffs, at least this time around. So why is the boss at your elbow wanting to talk? Because the job you've kept may not be the same job you've been doing.

If there are fewer people in the office, chances are you're going to have more responsibility, perhaps even a completely new job. How you respond to this new charge may have a lot to do with your success at the company and whether the next round of layoffs hits you, experts said.

David Lewis , president of Operations Inc., a human resources consulting firm in Stamford, Conn., said: "I think people have to strongly consider why they are being asked to do something outside the scope of their original position or even outside the scope of their expertise. They have to put on their thinking cap before reacting, 'That's not my job.' It could mean the difference between their survival in that position or not."

In this economy, Lewis said, "The last thing an employer wants to hear is "... I'm not going to do that."

In fact, career experts advise employees to view this situation as an opportunity to increase responsibility.

Michael Klein , a business psychologist with an expertise in career assessment and development, said, ... (read more) -