How to Keep Your Job in 2011

It’s looking bleak for the hoped-for extension of jobless benefits.

If the Senate doesn’t pass the year-long reauthorization today, some 2 million people will lose their unemployment checks starting in December.

If that makes you even more anxious about keeping your job, we’re happy to report some good news for those who are still employed.

Companies may not be hiring a whole lot, but they’ve largely stopped firing, says Money Magazine senior editor Amanda Gengler, in this CNN interview. Now, the name of the game is retention.

What might that mean for you, and your job?

Polish your star. Now more than ever, employers value their top performers, so stockpile a portfolio that showcases your accomplishments—sales numbers, thank-you notes, recommendations, evaluations—and bring it to your review.

Be an expert. You know it’s important to take that extra class or master a cutting-edge skill, but few people invest the time, Gengler notes. Now it’s a must, as employers place a greater emphasis on specialized industry knowledge.

Know your worth, no kidding. It costs companies a fortune to recruit and train new employees, so keeping you happy (or happier) is a top priority. Now is the time to recognize your value and press for a raise or bonus, Gengler advises.

Work on it. What’s going to help you keep your job?