TTG Consultants
TTG Consultants Human Resources Consultants Specializing in  Career Management and Corporate Change



Nearly 1/3 of the US workforce fears a job loss, and nearly everyone has experienced a lay-off, or knows someone who has. Global competition, manufacturing flight to the third world and de-regulation are among the many causes of the increasing numbers of downsizings and mergers/acquisitions to cut costs. Recently, low interest rates and high stock valuations (to pay for acquisitions) has accelerated the frenzy. This has meant re-structurings and often new bosses – even new companies for large numbers of American workers. 

And there is no easing of this trend in sight! US organizations continue to merge and downsize in all sectors. Even government is laying-off massive numbers of employees (Post Office, NASA, Military, as well as states, counties and cities).  


Can the average American worker survive – perhaps even prosper – in this world of uncertainty and change? 




  • Realize no job is "guaranteed" today, and NOBODY is indispensable.
  • Be aware you will face a difficult culture – will you fit or not? Be objective.
  • Management will tell you change will be gradual, or not at all. DON'T BELIEVE IT! But, you probably do have a few weeks or months while merger details are arranged.
  • Create "visi-posure" for self-marketing; accept high visibility voluntary in-house and community outreach assignments, write articles for company newsletter, etc. for exposure to company decision makers (about the merger/downsizing).
  • Save the company $; be too valuable to let go.
  • "Be there" – don't be a clock-watcher or sick-out.
  • Research the buyer – talk with buyer's employees about turnover, promotion methods, compensation, dismissal methods/process, and read the annual report and business articles about buyer.
  • Be congenial; unliked people are the first to be laid-off.
  • Determine what other jobs could use your skills in the company; what changes will need you.
  • Get feedback (avoid surprises): frank appraisals from the boss.
  • If the prognosis is bad, make your move and start looking – but try to time the actual move so you'll get the severance, and then immediately go to the new job.
  • Avoid using credit cards (interest is a killer).
  • Network (attend association meetings, trade shows, company committees).
  • Keep the family informed and involved.
  • Re-work your resume to fit the "new" needs of the merged company, or the company you're approaching.


  • Plan to get out if

    • you aren't doing what you like to do,

    • the company/industry is not expanding,

    • the company is financially unhealthy,

    • morale is low (furrowed brows, grim faces, slumped  
      shoulders on execs; low productivity elsewhere),

    • promotion trends are sideways or down instead of up,

    • outside hiring and "outsourcing" is increasing.
  • Develop the new skill you need for the job you want.
  • Try to put away cash reserves of 10% of your annual income.
  • Plan for asset re-allocations if needed later.
  • Don't panic: even if job loss is expected, keep a steady hand.


  • Keep up your ENERGY – don’t look old!
  • Stay focused – don’t get lax with administration, procedures and duties.
  • Look for new duties and roles, expand you contacts, activities, value.
  • Stay politically aware and active inside the firm. WHOM you know can be as important as WHAT you know! And, alliances help alot.


IF YOU DECIDE TO LEAVE (here’s 10 more tips!)… 

  • Ask for Outplacement as part of an offer to leave.
  • Assess yourself (your interests, strengths/skills, needs, stresses).
  • Set short and long-term goals.
  • Create an interview-generating resume – with keywords and quantified accomplishments.
  • Research opportunities (on databases in libraries and on the internet.
  • Network, network, network, network, network, network, network, network, network, network, network, network, network – in other words, schmooze or lose!
  • Be a pro-active interviewee (use: “Q=A+P).
  • Know how to overlay.
  • Know how to negotiate a compensation package (s/he who tells first, loses – don’t tell ‘em what you’ve been making!).
  • Use: the Ratchet-Up Theory!

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