Dear Coach Joan: Career Advice
Dear Coach Joan,
I want to give you a six month update since I completed my career coaching work with you. As you know, I was delighted to get my new position! It turned out to be everything that I was looking for: a great manager, a challenging position, in the right industry and with collaborative co-workers. All good. But here’s the unexpected bad news. My company is being bought, and we were told to expect layoffs due to redundancy in the workforce.
My question: How do I best position myself to be on that short list of most valuable employees who get to stay?? You taught me so many best practices about the job search process, but now I need to learn best practices in becoming a competitive candidate internally, increasing the odds that I get to keep my job.
Thank you for your thoughts.
An appreciative client,
I’m so glad you continue to enjoy your new position and of course, so sorry to hear that there will be layoffs at your company. The world of employment moves very quickly these days with mergers, acquisitions, leadership changes, cost cutting measures, global market changes, and many variables that make downsizing a very common occurrence. So I think your question is an excellent one, and one that many readers will find relevant. In fact, this is such an important topic that I will divide into two articles, each offering four proven strategies to bolster your chances of keeping your job during a downsizing:
1.COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR MANAGER. Let your manager know that you realize a layoff is on the horizon and reiterate your commitment to your job and your desire to be retained. Present recent key deliverables and the priorities of your work as you see it, and ask for feedback and ways you can increase your value and impact. This is the time to SHOW UP, not phase out, as some employees who are fearful, begin to do.
2. DO RESEARCH. Google to find out all you can about the company that will be acquiring yours. Learn about their culture, leadership, priorities and operating style. Check in Glassdoor.com to read employee reviews. You might learn ways you can parlay and position your experience to show relevant impact and value.
3. UPDATE YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE AND POST INDUSTRY NEWS. Even though your intent is to retain your position, start a soft but decisive campaign to position yourself for a new job, internally or externally. Update your Linkedin profile and resume to include new skills and accomplishments. Recruiters are active on social media and always looking for attractive, skilled candidates. Add vibrancy, recency and power to your online presence by adding posts about any industry leadership activities, new credentials or awards.
4. START AN INTERNAL PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR) CAMPAIGN: Prepare for and schedule internal informational interviews with key managers in your company. Prepare questions about upcoming strategies and priorities for their organizations. Remind them of your skills and accomplishments. Layoffs often include reorganizations that results in moving of employees from one group to another. Be proactive and let other managers, who may be allotted additional headcount, get to know you as a resource!
And of course, pick and choose to use the strategies that best fit your style and your work environment. By making yourself a more assertive, knowledgeable and proactive employee, you will increase the odds of securing your job, while inviting new opportunities as well.
And look forward to PART II with four additional ways to secure your job and avoid being laid off.
All the best,