Layoff fears are sending a shiver through the workforce as the U.S. economy lurches toward a \n\nfull-blown recession. And no one is safe as corporate cost-cutters sharpen their axes. \n\nThough senior executives are less vulnerable to losing their jobs than the employees below \n\nthem, they, too, can be casualties of restructurings.\n\nMore on CIO.com\nHow to Do a Layoff Right\n\nRecession-Proof Yourself: How to Save Your Job When Layoffs Are the Order of the Day\n\nHow To Motivate Your Employees During Layoffs\n\nWhether you're a CIO or a help desk technician, career coaches say you can take measures to \n\nprevent the hatchet from falling on your neck. Here's a list of actions they say you can \n\ntake to help safeguard your job.\n\n1. Know your value and communicate it. "If you're flying under the radar, \n\nyou're going to be the first to be eliminated," says Kirsten Dixson, author of Career \n\nDistinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand. This goes for CIOs, too.\n\nDixson recommends compiling a weekly status report that outlines the project or projects \n\nyou're working on, your progress on those projects and your key performance indicators, and \n\nsending that report to your boss each week. \n\nIf you're known as a "growth and innovation CIO," now is also the time to prove that you're \n\nas adept at cost cutting as you are at generating ideas, says Joanne Dustin, a 25-year IT \n\nveteran who's now a career coach and an organizational development consultant.\n\nDustin says CIOs need to talk up the efficiencies and cost savings that their innovations \n\nhave achieved as well as the revenue they've generated. Your company may still decide that \n\nit needs someone with a different skill set in the CIO role, but at least you've given it \n\nyour best shot. \n\n2. Be a team player. Getting along with others\u2014in the boardroom or \n\nelsewhere\u2014is critical when downsizing is on the table, especially for IT professionals \n\nwho tend to be independent, says Dustin, who's worked as a programmer, project manager and \n\nsystems manager. "These times require cooperation, flexibility and a willingness to go the \n\nextra mile," she says.\n\nIT professionals who "just sit at their desk or in the server room and do their \n\neight-to-five" are at risk, says Ed Longanacre, senior vice president of IT at Amerisafe, a \n\nprovider of workers' compensation insurance. The problem with hunkering down, he says, is \n\nthat it gives the impression that you're not interested in the organization.\n\n3. Keep your ear to the ground. Staying attuned to what's going on inside \n\nyour company, including gossip, can help you anticipate changes, says Patricia Stepanski \n\nPlouffe, president of Career Management Consultants. "If there's a rumor that your \n\ndepartment is going to fold or downsize, you can identify other areas of the company where \n\nyou could transfer your skills," she says. Just remember that you can't trust everything you \n\nhear, whether it comes from the water cooler or the CFO.\n\n4. Adapt to change quickly. "If you can develop an attitude that nothing is \n\ngoing to stay the same and that your organization and your job will always be in flux, that \n\nwill help you cope," says Stepanski Plouffe. "Be ready for whatever change may come up." \n\n5. Get out and lead. "Executives are expected to set the vision and \n\nreassure people of the path the company is on," says Dixson. "This is not the time to go in \n\nyour office and shut the door. Show decisiveness, strength and integrity. Show that you're \n\ncombating the rumor mill."