Of all the aspects of social misery nothing is so heartbreaking as unemployment! - Jane Adams.

A job is not permanent and does not come with guarantees. No matter how hard you work, how much dedication you show and how long you have worked, you may come under the axe and be fired. It can be heartbreaking, especially if one has worked sincerely and devotedly for a number of years. It is never pleasant and finding a new, equally well paying job can be a tough task. It is better to always keep that specter in mind and take steps to avoid such a possibility arising. Here are a few ways one can keep out of the firing zone.

Maintain Punctuality. Even if you are very good at your job, being late, and that too frequently, can become an excuse for employers to axe you. Plan and always be on time.

Only one skill is not enough. Technologies evolve and needs change. Be prepared and learn skills that make you indispensable and ready to take on more responsibilities that layoffs may entail. If you can handle more tasks than your job demands, you have an edge. The more you have, the less it may seem. Still, however, having a vast storehouse of relevant knowledge and practical skills related to your job and office environments make you indispensable.

Learn the right skills and empower yourself. People get side-tracked taking on unimportant tasks and responding to requests. By shifting the burden of deciding on priority of a task to an employer and boss,

you avoid inviting complaints and criticisms. It is wise to know the way your boss operates and the work ethos.

The man who has the largest capacity for hard work and thought is the man who is bound to succeed. There is no substitute for hard work and employers do notice it even if they downplay it. -- Henry Ford

Cultivate cordial relationships. Maintaining good relationships at workplace, becoming liked means you will be considered from a human angle too when employers bring out the axe. Don't be afraid to ask for comments and criticisms on your work as a way to not only improve but to know what people are thinking.

Avoid disputes and go into damage control mode. Confrontations with colleagues or bosses are never looked up on with a kind eye. At the same time, use your craftiness to neutralize enemies by converting them into friends if possible. If you have to go, you gotta go. If that does happen, you can be cheerful as what you have learned, what you have practised and what you are can help you be hired easily in another place.