Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice
Kelly recently wrote in asking for strategies to help secure her job in anticipation of company layoffs.
I discussed four smart ways to secure her job (and yours) in my last blog post here.
In Part II, we are continuing to explore ways to keep your job and position you as a strong, value-add employee. Here are some things to consider doing both in and out of the workplace:
5. Leadership Opportunities: Demonstrate your ability to recognize both problems and opportunities and show your manager ways to address them. Perhaps morale is sinking with the news of the merger. You can offer to help put together a recognition event for a major program success in your group. Or, perhaps you know that a new company product would be ideal for a market that has not yet been addressed. Show that you are a leader. This is the time to show that you have great ideas to build the team and positively impact the company’s bottom line.
6. Training and Development: While others are spending time worrying, you need to focus on ways to add to your skill set. Discuss training opportunities both inside and outside your company. Refer to your development plan and look for ways to add skills that will make you more effective in the new organization. And as quickly as possible, use those new skills to show increased value add.
7. Offer to go the Extra Mile: Ask for ways you can demonstrate your commitment to the team. Perhaps they need extra people at a trade show. This is your time to show you are a really dedicated team player and hard worker. Do the research to make you extra effective at any new work you take on. Try to find colleagues who have demonstrated best practices in an area that is of high value to your company and learn from them. You might even find a powerful mentor along the way.
8. Yes, start a job search: All of the strategies given can be powerful ways to secure your position and avoid being laid off. But, that said, they might still not be enough. I was in a company where the entire marketing team was laid off as the acquiring company had their own, complete marketing organization, and saw ours as redundant. Period. Everyone was laid off.
And, quietly begin your search for a new job. Better to find out you have a job offer from the outside and a secure position with your current employer, than to be caught jobless.
The moral of the story is that one should always be trying to add value and new skills, seek ways to learn and have more impact on the company. And especially when you find out that an acquisition, merger, reorganization will be happening, do all you can to be prepared, effective and visible.
All the best,