THINGS TO DO TODAY TO KEEP YOUR JOB --
OR TO GET A BETTER ONE
Layoffs are everywhere. Nobody is secure in a job anymore. NBC News and
two New York newspapers recently reported a survey indicating 1/3 of all
New York State workers are fearful of losing their jobs. And, that figure
doesn't seem to be different anywhere else.
The reasons? Global competition is causing manufacturing flight to the third
world, as well as corporate mergers which cut costs (and jobs). Downsizings
are particularly affecting white collar workers, who are suffering over
60% of the layoffs. Of these, older employees (those over 45) are increasingly
finding themselves on the bricks -- to reduce wage rates, pensions and benefits.
So, how can the American worker keep a job, or get a better one? Here are
20 things to start doing today!
Stay strategies (for weathering a merger or a downsizing):
- Begin taking charge of your
own career. Manage it like a business, which it is.
Realize no job is "guaranteed"
today, and nobody is indispensable.
- If merger rumors are everywhere,
realize the new company culture will be different. Start thinking about:
will I fit in, where will I fit, what will I do and where (with what
- Start researching the buyer
or merger partner. Talk with the buyer's/partner's employees about turnover,
promotion methods, compensation, dismissal process (severance and benefits
continuation). Read annual reports and business articles about the buyer's/partner's
products and services, facilities, finances.
- Investigate what other jobs
might need your skills in the merged, or soon-to-be- downsized organization.
- Begin developing any new
skills you feel you may need for the new organization --now!
- Re-work your resume to fit
the new needs of the merged or downsized company.
- Get frank feedback from
your boss about your survival chances, and get copies of all past performance
- Begin creating "visi-posure"
-- visible exposure for self-marketing. Look for high visibility in-house,
as well as community outreach assignments. Find a community betterment
project, a scout troop to lead, a little league team to coach. Then
write an article about the experience for the company newsletter, or
a local paper. Investigate speaking engagements at local clubs and associations
-- talk about something you know or do well. Top management listens
to and sees the media, so get some exposure.
- Figure out how you can help
the company save or make money. Now's the time to bring out that idea
you've been nurturing about a better system, a less expensive vendor,
a better way to approach a customer. You've nothing to lose, so sound
- Be there -- don't be a clock
watcher or a sick-out. Not now.
- Make certain you are always
congenial -- unliked people are usually the first
to be laid-off.
- Up-date your network of
contacts within the company, so you can find other opportunities
if the ax falls on you, your team or department.
Get-out strategies (if you don't "fit" or you want
a better job):
- Plan to exit if…
- You aren't doing,
or can't do what you enjoy,
- Your company/industry
- The company is financially
unhealthy and prospects aren't good for improvement,
- Moral is low (furrowed
brows, grim faces, slumped shoulders on execs; low productivity
in lower ranks),
- Promotion trends are
sideways or down instead of up,
- Outside hiring or
outsourcing of services is increasing.
- Bring your resume up-to-date -- with accomplishments, not just
titles and responsibilities.
- Begin researching
alternative companies and industries. There are hundreds
of resource materials at your local public library, from books to
forget the Internet, with over 200,000 job postings.
- Stay calm, don't panic. You probably have several weeks or months
to find your new job.
- But -- get your
campaign going now! The merger and/or downsizing may not
be as "gradual" as management says.
- Realize that finding
a job is an eight hour a day job. You won't have eight hours
(if you're still employed), but use lunch time for networking,
interviewing and researching;
weekends for resume up-dating and re-training.
- Plan your exit
to coincide with your scheduled termination date (if that's been
decided), so you can pocket any severance or other goodies.
- Tell your family
of your situation -- whether you decide to weather the storm,
leave, or if you've been terminated. It's only fair to them, and you'll
need their support.
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